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Reading is hard for some kids and despite the fact that I’ve tried my best, sometimes my kids just won’t read even though I have worked hard to get my kids back into reading over and over.
This year, we were supposed to have a reading log for Zoe, and we are still just getting back on track after a new aide was hired. Amelia, too, had a change of aides and is still dealing with adjusting to a new school. That said, there is good news! Amelia got an “A” in English & Language Arts (woohoo) and while still dealing with a C- in Reading, I’m happy and impressed since it’s her first year with letter grades. Teaching her to read is something that this school is really focusing on. Zoe will still pick up a book from time to time.
6 Ways to Inspire Challenged Readers to Read
That said, here are my best to inspire – and KEEP inspiring – your kids to read:
- Fix what’s wrong.
This is sometimes obvious to miss: There’s something that make even the easiest reading a difficult task for your child. Ask yourself if something is blocking his progress: Does your child need glasses? Is he terrified of decoding? Does he only know “required reading” and hates everything else? Does he have a learning disability, like dyslexia? Make sure there is nothing going on in this area and when you find an issue, get whatever help you need to address. Do keep in mind that some people will never care for reading but it can also be that some hidden problem is keeping them away from reading.
- Integrate what the school does at home.
Zoe’s class – 5th grade – was supposed to mean 20 minutes of reading 5x a week, but reading logs stopped coming home a while ago. They were imperative to keeping me and her on track, so I’ve requested them again. In the meantime, at night we are doing Bible lessons and I’m writing things out and posting them on the walls and blackboard. That has them reading stuff they know and introducing new words too!
- Let them read what interests them.
Books are fine but they are NOT the only thing kids can read! They can read comics, magazine, screens, collectible cards, even instructions (yea, keep buying those builder sets). At the beginning of the year, I caught Zoe reading recipes in our local grocery store’s food magazine – I never considered recipe reading! And, getting them to read recipes is step #1 in getting them to cook!
- “Let’s learn how!”
Too often, when our kids want to learn something, we call up Google or YouTube. What about if instead we brought them to the library? Or, had a book handy in our back pocket? Buy some guides on things that interest them – like those builders sets. How about simple instruction books on things like crafting, sewing, photography? Or tempt them with a cookbook full of desserts!
- Get them into book stores and libraries.
Today, many book stores are more kid-friendly, featuring toys and other items. Libraries might host fun events like reading to service dogs. Find a fun event- Star Wars, cooking, Maker events. We do this and while my kids might not read much, they always manage to get into the book section after a few minutes of browsing toys at our local book store.
- Look at their role models.
Who do your kids look up to? Friends, family, famous people? If there are any people that your child is interested in who is an avid reader – especially if your child doesn’t know that. Find photos of those people reading, or if it’s someone you know, have them bring your child to the library or book store for an event.
Introducing heroes is a wonderful way to motivate kids in general. National Geographic Kids Books can help inspire your child with their books, “The Book of Heroes” and “The Book of Heroines.” The real – and fictional – people highlighted in these books include: Jesse Owens, Rosie the Riveter, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Billie Jean King, and Luke Skywalker. They come from all walks of life and all occupations: athletes, politicians, scientists, peace makers, environmentalists, actors and even every day people.
In beautiful full color, these oversized hard backed books recount important details about these people and characters. Many of them contain “Fearless Facts,” a small sidebar with birth, occupation, and “Boldest Moment” for a quick takeaway for kids.
These books will teach your kids the seven qualities that most heroes share these traits:
- courage, like Lt. Brenda Berkman a hero from 9/11
- doing the right thing in the face of difficulty, like Martin Luther King Jr.
- compassion like Mother Teresa
- competent as Amelia Earhart proved to be with her worldwide flights
- never quitting, like Jackie Robinson when he was discriminated against
- leap to action, like Sully Sullenberg saving his passengers
- inspiring, like all heroes and heroines!
Both “The Book of Heroes” and “The Book of Heroines” retail for $14.99 each and are great gift books for kids ages 8-12! Check them out if you are looking for a colorful way to inspire your child to read.