We’ve all heard the laments from parents and teachers as they try to get their students to read more books, and improve their reading comprehension skills. Perhaps, you’ve even been one of those concerned adults, who is focused on making sure that you child or student reads (and learns).
The concern may become even more pronounced if you have what they like to call “reluctant readers”… Your child, student or young friend doesn’t like to read, or may need to be enticed to read by progressively more-creative methods and means.
There are a number of possible reasons your child (or student) is reluctant to read. Perhaps you’ve heard some of these excuses…
- Reading is boring: It’s a common reason, but then “boring” is a term often used to describe all sorts of unpleasantness for kids, teens and even adults. By “boring,” the reluctant reader usually means that the subject matter of the book is not of interest to him/her.
- It’s not “cool”: If their friends don’t enjoy reading, it’s easy for your child to go along with the crowd. He/She may believe that reading isn’t important, based on what others have told them.
- Reading is difficult: It’s true: some books are difficult, particularly for young readers. Inexperienced readers are often more easily discouraged, and don’t have coping skills to understand the language, plot elements and other complexities of books and literature.
- Exposure: Reading may not seem “normal” or comfortable. If there are no books at home, and/or there’s no easy-access to a reading material, students may not find it second-nature or easy. It may seem foreign, unfamiliar, and just required for school (not needed for “real” life).
- Learning disabilities: Diagnosed (or un-diagnosed) learning disabilities often make kids reluctant to attempt reading, with learning comprehension even more difficult.
- Content/Genre: Yes, the content does matter to a reluctant reader. Maybe it shouldn’t make such a huge difference… But, you may know kids who love reading fiction, but dislike nonfiction.
- Audio-Visual: Particularly in this digital age, some kids have a hard time concentrating on (or being interested in) a written page, but they’re not put off at all by multimedia or other forms of digital learning.
Just because student are reluctant is not an excuse (of course). It just means that we have to work that much harder to get them to understand the importance of reading.