Encouraging Reluctant Readers with a Growth Mindset
When my children were toddlers, they used to love story time. We’d pull out their favorite board book, they’d sit on my lap or snuggle on the couch, we’d make all the animal sounds as they pointed to the pictures and we’d retell the story using puppets. It was so much fun!
Of course, they couldn’t get enough of story time at home, so we brought them to the library for story time with the librarian. There, my children sat enthralled with the magical world unfolding before them in the story. Their eyes grew large, taking in the rows and rows of books with endless possibilities! They’d stuff their library book bag full of adventures, new worlds to explore, and new characters to befriend. They literally dragged their book bags to the check-out kiosk.
Encouaging Reading Development
Then, the inevitable happened. They ran out of books to read. They said there was nothing interesting. Even worse, they said the library was boring. So what can you do if you have a reluctant reader? Here are some suggestions for encouraging reading development at home using a growth mindset:
- Keep up the habit of going to the library. You might consider moderating the frequency of your library visits so reading and going to the library doesn’t feel like a chore.
- It’s possible that your child is changing interests as they mature. Remind your child that maybe they just haven’t found the right book yet. Encourage your child to explore different genres.
- It’s also possible that your child’s maturity level and reading level isn’t synced up. Again, remind your child that maybe they just haven’t found the right book yet.
- Try reading graphic novels and graphic novel adaptations of classic books. The text may be abridged, but they are still reading nonetheless! Pictures help kids visualize what’s going on in the story and kids are still “reading” context clues on characters’ facial expressions.
- Since borrowing books at the library is free, let your kids know that it’s ok to borrow books they think they might like, explore a chapter or two, and decide not to read the rest of the book.
- Allow your kids to keep reading similar books or books in a series, even though the series may make you cringe. By reading books in the same series, they are becoming a fan of a particular author or style. This helps them further identify their likes and dislikes. Before you know it, they would have read all the books in the series and will need to look for a new series to explore.
- Ask your kids to look for non-fiction books to enhance their hobbies or interests. There’s a wide range of kid-friendly books covering everything from cooking to sewing, drawing animals to playing basketball. If you’re brave, you can even let your kids borrow a book about the current trend – how to make slime!
Becoming Library Patrons
After several years of repeating these different strategies, my children have come out on the other side as enthusiastic library patrons! These days, the library is their third favorite place in the whole world (after home and their grandparents’ house). That’s saying a lot about their love of reading!
Happy book hunting,
Copyright (c) 2018 by GenParenting