Schooling a reluctant reader can be difficult for both parent and child! The reasons for the reluctance can vary from a medical situation that delays reading to just plain boredom. As a mom who raised 2 reluctant readers, one with a medical condition and one without, I understand your frustration!
In a previous post I addressed how we got through schooling our reluctant reader that had a medical condition. In this post, I address the reluctant reader who is bored, too busy or not ready.
When there’s no medical condition, reading reluctance (or just plain bad attitude) towards reading can come about from being pushed into reading too early. Either before the child is ready or when the child is just not ready to sit for formal reading. Wiggly Willy, super active kids often fall into this category.
In my case, my “other” reluctant reader was definitely this way! When you have a child that’s super active, the last thing on their mind is sitting still! If after a period of regular physical activity the child still has no interest in reading, they may be too young.
If you know they have the ability to read, but are just uninterested, give the child the choice in the subject matter they are reading. If they like a particular period in history, read historical fiction. If they are interested in a particular facet of science, let them choose it. You can kill two birds with one stone that way!
Another effective way to inspire your reluctant reader is to read the story aloud to them and then either watch the movie version of the story or see it in play form. This method is effective and fun for both parent and child! For us, this also inspired some great conversations as we compared and contrasted the different version plus expanded on what you liked and did not for each version. Our first attempt at this was using Charlotte’s Web.
For the artistic child, allowing them to create their favorite scene in drawing, paint or clay form may help to spark the interest. This would also help to incorporate multi subjects into learning time as well.
For the social child, a book club may be in order. Gather a group of friends, choose a book, meet once a month for snacks, discussion and some sort of project “show and tell” that relates to the subject of the book. This could also easily incorporate multi subjects too. This is definitely a fun way to get the kids together, interacting while still meeting those learning objectives!
Going back to my own experience, as my reluctant reader grew, I also discovered that he was bored with the subject matter. He did not want to waste time reading senseless rhyme but desired fact packed informational books on science and historical biographies of war heroes that had caught his interest. In this way, his curiosity was piqued and reading these books sparked a desire for learning in learning which has carried him into adulthood.