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11 February 2010

Booking Through Thursday - Encouraging Reading

Today's questioned was suggested by Barbara H:

How can you encourage a non-reading child to read? What about a teen-ager? Would you require books to be read in the hopes that they would enjoy them once they got into them, or offer incentives, or just suggest interesting books? If you do offer incentives and suggestions and that doesn’t work, would you then require a certain amount of reading? At what point do you just accept that your child is a non-reader?
In the book Gifted Hands by brilliant surgeon Ben Carson, one of the things that turned his life around was his mother’s requirement that he and his brother read books and write book reports for her. That approach worked with him, but I have been afraid to try it. My children don’t need to “turn their lives around,” but they would gain so much from reading and I think they would enjoy it so much if they would just stop telling themselves, “I just don’t like to read.”

I began reading to my boys when they were babies. They loved being read to and each learned to read very early. I was rather fortunate. They have a love for bookstores as well as libraries and all three request books for gifts. How would I encourage a non-reader? Lead by example, take the child to bookstores to look at books, magazines, newspapers, and comic books. Offer to take turns reading out loud to one another, share in the love of reading by finding books that are age appropriate on topics the child enjoys. I personally would not require book reports, while it worked well for Dr. Carson, I have seen many children turned off from reading because they viewed it as "work" rather than pleasure.

Anyone can play along each Thursday with Booking Through Thursday.



Lori said...

Their freinds and bribery worked for me, perhaps a bit of timing as well. Here's Mine

Phyllis said...

"Led by example" is so true. We have regular trips to the library, I'm constantly reading in my spare time (of course), and talking to each other about the books we read is helpful too.

Alayne said...

Great answer, I really hope my future kids learn from my love of reading like yours have.

I've posted a Valentines related question at The Crowded Leaf if you're interested.

tweezle said...

Good answer! I know my kids loved being read to. Best part is, they usually read right along with you.

I had to deal with this with my oldest child.
Here's my response.

IceJewel said...

Oh yes. I remember seeing a little girl in the book store and putting books of her likings in the bag which she wasn't even able to carry !
She had come with her mom who was in the nearby section searching for books too.
I guess, the idea of taking them with you in the library or a book store always works :)!

fredamans said...

Good answer.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

My mom read to me as a baby.

Here is mine

Michelle said...

Starting them early is definitely key. I've always been a reader, and while I'm sure my parents read to me as a kid, I can't really recall it. It just seems as if I've always been reading on my own!

That's awesome that your boys love books and bookstores. It seems those kind of teenagers are few and far between anymore.

pussreboots said...

I wouldn't do the book reports thing either. Just the word "report" is a turn off. My post is here.

jlshall said...

Good answer! And it's great that you managed to create some happy little readers! I always think that "leading by example" is one of the most important things a parent can do to instill a love of reading. But from what I'm hearing today, I gather that it just doesn't work on all kids.

This was a fun topic. My thoughts are here.

Vasilly said...

I definitely agree that as parents and adults we need to lead by example. When kids see how much their parents are picking up books to read, it'll help kids to see why it's such a great thing to do.

Melody said...

I too think it's good to read when they are young. :)

Michelle said...

I love your ideas and have done something similar with my own children. It's worked so far for me! I wholeheartedly agree about book reports though. I hated them while in school, even though I essentially write them for fun now. Crazy, isn't it?

Jennifer G. said...

I know all kids are different, but I have two cousins who are brothers. One likes to read and did well in school. The other was the opposite. The one who didn't like to read was allowed to play video games and watch tv and movies all day when he was very young. Their mom learned from her mistakes and read to the younger one. Now that they're older, they've finally both found their niches and turned into readers. Those early years can definitely make a difference.