My child doesn’t want to read a lot- what can I do?

Actually there’s no magic solution other than sticking with it, but stick with it you must if you want your child to benefit from the improved vocabulary and all around literacy skills that reading for a prolonged period brings. The most common reason for one child of similar ability getting in vs another is lack of vocabulary breadth. Without reading it is almost impossible to have a sufficiently strong vocabulary.

  • You can try different books and see what gets their interest.
  • Don’t forget non-fiction. Some children are not switched by fiction but love non-fiction.
  • If all they’ll read are newspapers then let them, it’s important to turn the page and better than nothing.
  • Find more time for paired reading then they know someone else is sharing their pain!
  • Do check reading is actually happening if you have a child who doesn’t think it is for them, sometimes they can quietly be doing something else in their room!
  • Talk to them. Sounds silly but you’d be amazed how many parents take a ‘you will read- instructional approach’ when actually explaining why it is necessary and discussing why they don’t like doing it often gets through the problem.
  • For parents who have perhaps allowed a bit too much smart phone activity/Facebook (naughty!)/computer games/ TV/ surfing the internet to creep into home life, then getting these things turned off and  a child refocused on reading can be a difficult task, but there’s no hiding from it. Unless they read regularly even the brightest of children will be much more likely not to get through the 11 Plus.
  • For parents of children in year three or even before who are reading this we believe getting your child into a good home reading habit is one of the most important things you can do. We know that parents who for whatever reason have given their children other forms of entertainment (mostly electronic) do struggle to get things back on track. Do get stuck into reading as soon as you can, do think twice of giving way to pressure and letting them have those items which may make learning more difficult later.

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