1) Set aside time to read at least 4-5 times a week. Yes…this will be a struggle since they’re going to buck you. Be consistent… this should be a non-negotiable. These are the types of kids to set page goals with, not minutes. They will know every trick in the book to waste time. By setting a page goal of say… 5-10 pages per day, this gives them some power. When the pages are read, they are done for the day.
2) Use incentives such as…
· Trade time for something they love to do… certain number of pages read translate into minutes to spend watching TV or playing video games.
· Or so many books read= a trip to McDonalds or a park.
· Or just down and out bribe them…(yes I went there…) there are some summers I have paid a buck a book that was read (with guidelines). But some times, desperate times call for desperate measures.
3) Read WITH your child…he reads a page, you read a page. (I know at times this will be painful… just keep reminding yourself… Reading is important, reading is important… and who knows…maybe you’ll really get into the book!)
4) Have “reading parties” where every one brings a book and snuggles in a spot to read their book. Sometimes just snuggling in next to mom or dad is enough motivation to read for a while.
5) If your struggling reader has a younger brother or sister, you have just scored big time! Get them to read to their younger sibling(s).
If you have an older reader in your home, have them read a picture book. This means the stories are usually shorter (and less intimidating) and probably at a lower reading level (which will make them feel successful when they read it). They get practice reading and the younger sibling gets the benefit of being read to… also very important!
6) Make sure your struggling reader is reading books that are interesting to them. Kids will read if they find the book interesting. Don’t worry about reading “high quality literature”. At this point, the goal is to get them reading… and the best way to do that is make sure they are interested in what they read.
7) If the book your kid is reading (and enjoying) is part of a series, try sticking to the series. A series gives your reader the same format, the same characters, and often the same setting for several books. These familiar things will help them understand the story more quickly.