"As a writer and mother of three sons, I was delighted when I discovered Getting Boys to Read." - Jayne, mother/writer in South Carolina

"GettingBoysToRead.com has been an inspiration and a form of support to me, not only as a reading teacher but as a parent of a son who needed reading encouragement." - Judith, teacher in Tennessee

"Your site rocks! Congrats and keep up all of the great work!" - Stacey, teacher librarian in New York

"I wrote your website address on my summer reading list. I hope parents are going to be as enthusiastic as I am when you gave it to me. Good luck." - Sophie, school librarian in New Jersey

"Our son just turned 13 and used to read but seems like it is more of a chore now...thanks for all the great articles. Our goal now is to find some books that are interesting to him and get him back on the right track!" - Cherie, mom in Pennsylvania

"I have now bookmarked GettingBoysToRead.com as one of my favorite library/reading/book related websites." - Rory, teen librarian in Nebraska

"I signed up to "Gettingboystoread" today. What a fantastic site!" - Sade

I think your site sounds very interesting and necessary. - Danielle

Hey Mike! We love to read!! My 4 kids love to read, too.. Although different ways and interests...My 8yo stays late at night just to finish a book he's totally into! Great idea and purpose!

It's a great website and especially helpful for me and my 2 year old son. - Angel

I couldn't stop reading your page- that is fabulous what you do! My son was not originally a reader and I switched him into a magnet school. It has changed him and now that he is entering middle school he made all of the honors classes. I know what you do makes a difference! - Jill

Thanks for the GREAT work you're dooing for kids!! Particularly BOYS. - Sue

Hi Mike, I'm a children's book author and a mother of a 1st-grade boy. I've been following your tweets for awhile and love them. Please keep up the good work! - Laurie

As a former reading teacher, I applaud you. Keep up the good work. - Kim

I am very impressed with your website. It's great to see how varied this incredibly important topic can be presented to parents, community, boys and educators. - Alexa

I am very interested in your blog and will be checking it out. I am a mother to 3 girls and 1 boy. My girls and I love to read, but my husband is not much of a reader and the little guy is already proving to not care for "storytime". I am hoping to someday "convert" my husband to reading and I hope my son will also turn out to be a reader. Anyway, I look forward to reading your tips. - Danielle

I have a 9 year old boy that I currently homeschool. I looked at your site and I joined! Loved it! I think you are really filling a need. - Richele

Hi Mike - Great mission! I have two boys, a mom who's an early childhood literacy specialist, so I know the work you're doing is SO important! Rock on. - Liv

Your blog is great! I know lots of parents who are struggling to get their boys to read...hiring tutors, etc. mixed success. I don't know of any blogs like yours. - Christina

You give me hope. My son hates to read and it has been a struggle. Thanks! - Katherine

Getting boys to read is a particular passion of mine, so it was fun to visit your site. - Bridget

I love the concept behind your blog. Fantastic book reviews focused on encouraging boys to read! - Dolly

I have two boys,still younger now, but one coming up on the age of learning to read. I look forward to viewing your site and getting ideas to help!! Thank you!! - Reannon

I think your website ROCKS!- Tara

It's great to see that someone is caring about what boys read and learn. - Sue

Great site Mike. Boys and school/reading IS such an adventure!! They certainly are wired differently than girls. I've actually found it easier to teach my boys to read, but harder to get them to really love to read for enjoyment. Best of luck to you. - Michelle

Sounds like you're doing some great work! What a great cause... looking forward to connecting, just added you on Twitter - Rebecca

I love your site.Great stuff. I have 2 boys and I love the crusade to get boys to read. Keep up the good work! See you on fb too. - Nora

I'd love to network with you. Reading is a favorite pastime with my boys, and I'd love to share tips to help other moms assist their little ones in knowing the love of reading. -April

I love your blog and you are doing something really important like the awareness of reading , keep it up. - Angela

Wow! What an Awesome sight! I have 3 boys and 1 girl and for the life of me, I just realized Boys def. need more tools and encouragement to read than Girls. What a very useful page you have going! Kelleye

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Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Positions: Parent Writer

A recent study presented at the Royal Economic Society’s 2011 conference found that boys are more competitive than girls from as early as four years old and remain so into adulthood.  It’s something most of us with sons already know: competitiveness is simply hardwired into boys.

Persuading my 7 year old son to do his maths homework is easy. He treats every maths question like a competition and a challenge, and he feels a sense of achievement in discovering the answer. That’s because boys like to compete, even if it’s against themselves, and they need to feel there is a purpose behind what they do. Persuading my son though to do his reading homework is another matter. He hates the reading books he brings home from school and often says to me, “But what’s the point? Why should I bother? They’re boring”.

Silently I often agree with him. Books to teach young boys to read are often boring, pointless and let’s face it, girl-orientated. What boy wants to learn to read with a duck, rabbit and chicken asking “Let’s cook. I can cook. We can cook”?  (That was one of my son’s first school reading books).

At the end of his first year at school, my son couldn’t read. I was beside myself with worry. I spent a fortune on word games, books and alphabet puzzles but to no avail. My son, Alex, simply wasn’t interested. Then I had an idea. Why not combine reading and action, reading and a treasure hunt?  So I wrote a short book about a boy called Super Sam, who was funny, naughty, silly and mischievous. On the last page of every story, Super Sam would find some treasure hidden in the house. This was my son’s cue to go running looking for the treasure. He loved it! I don’t think he even realised that he was reading.  By the end of the summer he had read about 60 books, and when he returned to school the teachers were amazed by the transformation.

Having seen how “Super Sam and the Hunt for Treasure” has since helped so many other boys to discover the fun of reading, I have become convinced that tapping into boys’ competitive spirit is one of the key ways of teaching them to read. Give boys a purpose, give boys a reason why, and they will read.

If boys are hardwired to be active and competitive, then as parents we need to tap into boys’ sense of fun, adventure and the need for a challenge.

Here are a few more ideas that I have found helped my son:

·         My son loves to bake (sweets and cakes), so I write him simple instructions so he can do it himself. This gives reading a purpose.

·         My two eldest children love story competitions. As soon as my son hears the word “competition”, he grabs his pen and starts to write. I usually give four prizes: longest story, best spelling, most interesting, funniest. Favourite titles include “The mystery of the missing ruby” and “The legend of the broken sword”.

·         I have also tried other treasure hunt ideas like the Learn-to-Read Treasure Hunts, from Amazon. My son really enjoyed these skills building games. I sometimes write my own treasure hunts at home – it’s a good tip to write in the corner of each clue where to hide it, so that you don’t get confused.

I would love to hear from other people who have discovered ‘competition-based’ resources that encourage reading in young boys.  For those boys reluctant to read, that’s make it worth their while!


Posted in: Adults, Content

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