Location: VA, USA
Positions: Parent Elementary School Volunteer
My ten-year-old son was doing his homework, when unexpectedly he looked up and said, “I hate reading!” This wasn’t really a secret he’d suddenly confessed, but the way he said it took me by complete surprise. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the sweet little boy who used to climb up on my lap and beg me to read him a story. Somewhere along the way, he went from a book lover to book hater. Why did this happen and what can be done about it?
It’s soooo boring!
As boys grow older, their interests change. They become more involved in sports, hanging out with friends, and maybe even interested in girls. All the new video games and high-tech gadgets are so cool, who wants to read?
So make reading fun!
Look for books about things he enjoys doing or wants to learn to do. Get magazines and comic books. There’s not much reading in them but a little can go a long way. Boys are attracted to things that are real, funny or disgusting. My son got his hands on a copy of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Special Edition and couldn’t put it down. Another great book for boys is Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.
Who wants to sit down and read a book they have no interest in, just to take a test on it later? Encourage him to read and reward him for completing his work. Have patience! If the assignment is to read for thirty minutes, have him read three times for ten minutes. It’s easier to keep kids interested for a short amount of time.
What are YOU doing?
Kids watch what their parents do and believe me, if given a chance, they’ll use it against you. Would you rather pick up a book or the remote control? If you’re watching television for hours every evening, most likely they will to. Let your son see you reading and enjoying a good book and maybe he’ll want to see why reading interests you.
These are just a few things that I’ve done to get my son back into reading. It’s a slow process but you have to be persistent. What ways can you think of to get those boys to read?