Teen years come with a lot of different battles and one of the battles we may face are those of reluctant readers. This at times comes about because they feel reading is a chore, or part of school work and therefore not enjoyable. Another reason may be that they are struggling with reading at the same level as their peers. Because of these reasons, the teen will take a defensive position and claim that reading is boring and no fun.
As parents, there are many ways to encourage our reluctant readers to enjoy reading. One way is to encourage independent reading. Independent reading is separate from their school work, it is basically led by their interests. Encourage your teen to pick out something that interests them and that they will feel comfortable reading.
At our house, when we happen to face these struggles, we encourage our teens to read a magazine of choice. Our philosophy is that as long as they are reading it doesn’t matter what it is. My children also love to read cook books, strange, but true. This not only encourages them to read, but will also teach them measuring (Math) and cooking (Home Economics) all in one.
Some ways to motivate your teen to read:
- Schedule trips to the local library or local book store. Let your child pick any book of their choice, and it maybe a magazine, CD, books, or DVD. When the teen feels that they are free and without pressure they will pick something they enjoy and perhaps begin to enjoy reading as well.
- Pen pals – this is a great way for your teen to develop not only their reading skills but their writing skills as well. It is sad that with today’s technology, we hardly ever write a letter, but your teen can email and develop their writing and reading skills in that manner.
- Give them a driver’s manual – many teens are anxious and excited to learn to drive, by giving them a driver’s manual not only will they read but they will learn the rules of driving and be prepared to take their driving test when the time comes.
- Magazine subscriptions – this is a favorite in our household, my children are allowed to pick one subscription each and are very excited to receive a magazine especially for them each month. It is great to see your children excited to receive their subscription and just as excited to begin reading.
- Develop a personal library – encourage your teen to develop a library of their favorite books. The books can be books they have already read or received as gifts. Encourage them to pick out books at local book stores, yard sales or used book stores.
I hope some of these ideas will help spark an interest in your reluctant reader’s mind. Reading is fun and making it fun is half the battle.