Here’s a link to a post by a fella named Jeff Gunhus. He talks about his experience with reading and interacting with his kids. This has been a struggle for me in the past. I am seeing some light though. And Jeff’s suggestions have been confirmation that we’re on the right path. As an example, my son and I read for an hour yesterday. And we can’t wait to read today. (By the way, I’m posting on my site in order to leave a digital footprint for my son’s to have some resources as they grow.)
JEFF’S 10 TIPS FOR REACHING YOUR RELUCTANT READER
- Set up time to read with them. There’s always time. Sometimes you just have to carve it out of something else.
- Have them read out loud. You’ll know better where they are getting hung up. Kids often avoid reading because they think they’re not good at it. Find out.
- Read with a pencil. Underline words your reader has a tough time pronouncing or can’t define. Transfer to a separate page later.
- Make them feel safe. Set the ground rules. Let them know that you didn’t know a lot of words when you were young. Confide that there are still words that you don’t know. There’s no judgment in the reading club.
- Use books that are fun, easy reads at first. An author who ends each chapter with a white-knuckled cliffhanger helps.
- Only let them read that book in your sessions. Make it special and use the cliffhanger to get them excited for the next session. Encourage a separate book to read outside the reading sessions if they are getting the bug.
- Relate to the book. Figure out how your reader’s life relates to the characters. This helps critical thinking and makes it fun.
- Write your own stories. They don’t have to be novels. But put your reader into the story, even if it’s just their name. Have fun with it.
- Be consistent. Once you set this appointment, nothing can touch it. Nothing.
- Have fun! This isn’t school, it’s supposed to be fun. You might be surprised. I didn’t expect to like the Harry Potter books but I loved them. Outside of writing Jack Templar, I had my own burst of reading. It was great fun and the more the boys saw me with a book in my hand, the more likely they were to do the same. The quiet mornings with my boys became some of my favorite times with them. I hope you can experience the same.