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How do you get your unmotivated kids to read?

Posted by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 8:29 PM
  • 43 Replies

My son is so unmotivated to read!  And it is so frustrating because he's a great reader!  He reads atleast 2 grade levels above his grade.  So he has no reason to hate reading, but yet he has absolutely no interest!  I've tried all of the above........we go weekly to the library, he sees me reading at home all the time ( so the role model is there), I take him to buy books on topics HE likes!  His latest books he picked were about minecraft.

Yes, he reads those for a while, but then he says he gets bored!  I've also tried reward charts, where he earns special prvileges he likes for reading X amount of books, etc.  I don't know what else to try!   I understand my child may just not be a reader, he loves math!  and that really is more his thing.  But reading is so important. We all know the more you read, the better you are at reading.  I worry that his scores may start to drop in reading as a result!  

Any suggestions that some of you try?

by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 8:29 PM
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Replies (1-10):
amichelle28
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 8:33 PM
Following! I'm going through the exact same thing.I love to read but I have to beg my daughter to read. Something we have done lately is a *book club"and right now we are reading the giver.I have found that she likes talking to me about it so that's some motivation. I feel your pain though I'll be reading the responses.
Beautifulmom513
by Bronze Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 8:36 PM

I have no clue either. my son is 11 years old and he absolutely hates reading unless its a topic he is really interested in. he loves reading scary stories. thats about the only thing he will willingly read on his own. honestly, I can't blame the kid because I not a big reader myself. I read a lot as a kid. but as an adult, I don't like it as much. 

clairewait
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM

When I was a high school English teacher, at the beginning of the year, I would have said at least 75% of my students across three classes (usually close to 100 students each semester) would have said they "hate reading."

I had mandatory silent reading for 45 minutes every Friday IN CLASS. By the middle of the semester, most kids looked forward to Fridays.

I get that not everyone is going to love reading. However, I firmly believe that those who don't like it either haven't found the right books yet, or simply haven't been made to do it. 

I think what you are doing so far is great and as a parent, it isn't necessarily your job to MAKE him read. I would very seriously consider that if he isn't required to do silent reading DAILY in class (most elementary schools do it for 15-20 minutes a day and sometimes more than once a day) then to speak up about it or find a school that does.

In the summer, we have reading time every day, and it happens BEFORE they do the stuff they want. Right now it is working for us to set the timer on the microwave for 20-30 minutes right after lunch. Mine don't get to play outside or with friends or in the playroom until they spend 20-30 minutes reading alone. We all sit in the same room. Some days are better than others. Some days one of mine keeps reading longer. Other days she's just not in the mood... but she sticks it out until the timer goes off.

Personally, I think it needs to be both a habit/discipline, and an enjoyment.

Anyway. Just my two cents.

HIJKLM
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 8:59 PM
1 mom liked this
My kids are allowed as much screen time as they read. If they want to watch TV, a movie, play video games, etc. they have to read that many minuets. I also got them tablets which helped grab their interest and ebooks are often cheaper than paper books and we don't have to cross town when they need a new book
Roo1234
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 9:02 PM
read books together and discuss them chapter by chapter do that it is ongoing.
Pick books with movies and street finishing the books, watch the movies together and compete them.
Consider graphic novels
wakymom
by Ruby Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 12:11 AM

 For some kids, reading for fun just doesn't "click" until they are older. Ds1 has always been a good reader, but hated to do so until 6th gr (it was a friend's series recommendation that finally hooked him), even when we let him pick what he wanted to read.

Don't limit your ds to just books. Let him try magazines, comic books, and/or graphic novels. Ds2 reads above grade level, but prefers to read the Garfield comic compilation books before bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AidanTiarra
by Bronze Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 12:19 AM
Quoting HIJKLM: My kids are allowed as much screen time as they read. If they want to watch TV, a movie, play video games, etc. they have to read that many minuets. I also got them tablets which helped grab their interest and ebooks are often cheaper than paper books and we don't have to cross town when they need a new book


I love this idea! My son really struggled with reading, my daughter didn't but both of them act like reading is a chore. They do like reading as a family (we each read a couple of paragraphs) but don't like doing it on their own.
Liastele
by Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Buy him a math book with story problems!

vegepunkstr
by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 12:30 AM

We make our kids read for at least a half an hour every night before bed. My 8 year old really likes the diary of a wimpy kid series and I have caught him reading it on his own more and more. 



vegepunkstr. Get yours at bighugelabs.com

Andrewsmom70
by Gold Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 6:27 AM
Just keep at it. My 8 year old just recently admitted he loves to read now. I kept letting him read what he wanted and on whatever level he wanted. He's REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY into Star Wars and so I got him several SW books that were well above his reading level (he was in 2nd grade and the books were on 6th/7th/8th grade level). He read them and scored 100 on the AR tests at school. He's also been into the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. He will read them over and over. He has a lot of other SW books that tell all about the different planets, all the different species, all the different spacecraft, weapons, etc and he pours over those frequently.

He and I read the book I Am Number Four together this summer with us alternating reading a page or two at a time. He really enjoyed it and asked to read the next one in the series.

He's also gotten into the Who Was series of easy to read biographies about famous people like Walt Disney, Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, George Washington, etc.

He's going to Washington DC in September with his dad and step mom and they have been encouraging him to read about the various sites in DC. He's been enjoying that too.

Don't accept the "maybe he's just not a reader" mindset. Just keep encouraging him to pick whatever he wants to read. The more he picks the topics and level, the better his chances are that he will get to the point where he enjoys it.

I also make my son balance technology time (ipad, WiiU, tv, Netflix, etc) with reading time. Sometimes he gets frustrated with the rule but the more I hold him accountable and the more I let him read what he wants, the easier it seems to get.
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