Reasons your child may dislike reading and ways to help you solve that.
If I had a dollar for every time a parent told me that their child hated to read, I would be somewhere on my private island sipping on a fresh, strawberry smoothie.
"My kid hates reading."
"He never wants to read!"
"It's so frustrating helping her with her reading homework."
Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. Children are finding reading less and less enjoyable. Though this may be the case, I wouldn't immediately assume that they just aren't interested in the topic of the book or text. Many children actually find reading boring, because they are struggling with specific reading skills. Fluency (the rate at which you read), comprehension (understanding), vocabulary (language usage), and decoding (sounding out words) are just a few of the things your child may be struggling with as they sit down to complete homework each night.
But how does that affect one's love for reading?
Imagine if you were given a document that you didn't quite understand. One with fancy, big words and vocabulary you didn't know (think contract, mortgage agreement, or a financing loan packet). How motivated are you to read the entire document? Now imagine if you had to read that document and give a summary or analysis, and then answer questions about what you read. Right...Snoozeville.
It's the same feeling for your child. Children don't have the option to bury their readings in the bottom of the junk drawer like we do, so their hate for reading is highlighted each and every night. This can be a frustrating task for any child and parent.
But it doesn't have to be...
While you can't necessarily change the assignments they have to complete in their reading class, there are a few things you can do to strengthen your child's reading ability and encourage their love (or like) for reading.
Figure out your child's reading level and get them some reading material they can actually understand. Children are often given a specific reading level during the school year. While they sometimes have opportunities to read on their level, many times they are given material that is too challenging for them to read (standardized testing, homework, book studies). By investing in material on your child's reading level, you are helping to build confidence and allowing them to practice using literacy elements with words they understand. Find cheap books at the thrift store, on Amazon, or visit the local library for free book rentals.
Let them read online. As much as we may dislike it (I mean who doesn't enjoy a handheld book?) our children are growing up in a technological time period. Luckily, there are a lot of online reading platforms that allow children to read their favorite stories online. Kindle and Google Books are just two platforms in which kids can read books virtually.
Read aloud. Remember how much you loved hearing a family member or teacher reading aloud when you were a child? After a few times of listening to your favorite story, you were itching to read the book aloud to them! Try reading a book aloud or following along as your child listens to a story read on StorylineOnline.net
Play reading games and activities. Kids love games and anything that allows their competitive spirit to thrive. Look into purchasing a few reading games and activities to play each week. Affordable games can be purchased at Walmart, Target, on Amazon, and many other retailers. Online games on Kahoot.com are also a great resource for some reading fun! You may also help your child create a reading game packed with vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Check the signs. Does it seem like your child is severely behind in their reading abilities? If so, it my be time to sit down with your child's teacher and discuss reading supports. Testing can be done to see if accommodations such as audio support or extended reading time can help your child complete reading assignments with confidence.
'The more that you read, the more things you will know.The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.' --Dr. Seuss