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I Hate Reading!: Tips for Helping Your (very) Reluctant Reader

May 6, 2016
 
 

Blog-Image-Help-Your-Reluctant-Reader

 

Do you have a child who would rather wash the dishes or help with the laundry than read a book? Do you have to beg and plead with them to sit down and read, whether it’s for school or fun? Maybe they even say they “hate reading.”

 

It’s hard to know how to react when your child hates reading, and even harder to know how to motivate them to read. We hope one or more of the following ideas will do the trick; which idea(s) will work, however, depends on the underlying reason for your child’s reluctance—boredom with content, inability to understand what they’re reading, or a reading weakness.

 

Provide your child with books that explore their interests.

Perhaps pair with an associated activity. For example, if your child loves learning about animals, plan a trip to the library after your next zoo visit. Reading can be easier to tackle when the books surround a beloved topic, so parents can help by providing some choices that are a good fit.

 

Send the right message about reading.  

To establish reading as a positive household activity, parents can schedule quiet times for reading and be a reading role model themselves. These quiet times for the family are great for eliminating distractions and hard feelings as no family member “gets” to play games or watch TV while the reluctant reader feels punished. Parents should definitely participate, too, modeling reading as a leisure activity that you look forward to.

 

And, if there is not required school reading piled up, allow for as much free choice as possiblecomic books, for example have been a gateway to science fiction for many reluctant readers.

 

Try storytime and audiobooks.

Listening to stories can develop imagery and spark a child’s interest in seeking out books to read on their own. Doing this activity together gives you the opportunity to ask imagery questions as you’re listening to content. Some good language to use is “what are you picturing for this part of the story? What do you think might happen next?” Get a conversation going about the story in order to gauge understanding.

 

Not sure where to start? Check out the Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease; this guide of over 300 titles also includes information about the benefits of reading aloud to children.

 

Address comprehension issues head-on.

If your child has weak concept imagery—the ability to create an imagined or imaged gestalt, or whole, from language—reading about their favorite activity or listening to audiobooks will not magically help them enjoy reading. They may not understand what they’re reading or listening to, or may be only getting “parts” and not the whole of the story. If this is the case, they aren’t just bored or unmotivated. They need the imagery-language connection so learning can be easier. Learn more about comprehension weakness, including solutions, here.

 

Rule out a reading weakness.

If decoding is an issue, just making your child read more will not make them enjoy it. If your child has trouble recognizing sight words, sounds out words incorrectly, or reads slowly, they may have a reading difficulty. A cause of reading difficulty is a weakness in visualizing letters in words. This is called weak symbol imagery and must be intact in order for your child to self-correct their reading errors, which leads to independence while reading. Learn more about reading difficulty, including solutions, here.

 

Reluctant readers are often struggling readers, so it is important to know what is going on with your child’s reading experience. Once you’ve determined the area of weakness, it’s critical to provide your child with the tools necessary to become independent readers, which is the goal for all of us. No more “I hate reading.” Let’s get your child to love reading as much as you do!

 

We Are Teachers asked readers to share their ideas, see those here.

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At Lindamood-Bell Academy, we have a recognized curriculum, personalized education plans, and engaging, effective instruction. The imagery-language foundation is at the core of everything we do. Let's talk about Lindamood-Bell Academy and your student's learning journey! Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
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At Lindamood-Bell Academy, we develop the imagery-language foundation to help each student learn to their potential. Get info about limited-time offers for the 2022-23 school year. Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Lauren recently graduated from high school with honors and will start college in the fall as a psychology major. She’s come a long way since her elementary school days as a struggling reader who was the target of bullying.
Watch her entire inspiring story at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial. 
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At Lindamood-Bell Academy, we develop the imagery-language foundation to help each student learn to their potential. Get info about limited-time offers for the 2022-23 school year. Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
New Podcast Episode! 
Former Lindamood-Bell student, Lauren, recently graduated from high school with honors and will start college in the fall at a university where she will major in psychology. She's come a long way since her elementary school days when she was a struggling reader and the target of bullying. Lauren and her mother, Donna, join us on the podcast to share their story—listen and subscribe at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
Imagine your child returning to school in the fall with better skills and increased confidence, ready to tackle the new year.💪
Our summer instruction helps students make years of improvement—in reading, comprehension, and math—in a matter of weeks. Get info about Lindamood-Bell summer learning. Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
Lindamood-Bell summer instruction helps students catch up or get ahead 
in reading, comprehension, or math. 
Hurry, summer spots are filling fast. 
Follow the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial to learn more!
Lindamood-Bell Academy is a personalized school environment where every student can learn and thrive. Our evidence-based instruction makes a difference!
Get info about limited-time offers for the 2022-23 school year. Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
We're hiring energetic, positive individuals to work as tutors—we call Clinicians—in Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers. Join us as we teach students of all ages to read and comprehend to their potential!
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