Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Does Your Son Hate Reading?

Does your son hate to read? Mine does, or so he claims. I don't believe him. Even if I did believe him (which I don't), I wouldn't accept it. Instead, I look for ways to trick him into wanting to read.

One of my favorite strategies is to read the newspaper within earshot of my son. I don't read quietly. I frequently burst out with a shocked "I do not believe it!" or "You have got to be kidding me!" Before I know it, the newspaper has been ripped out of my hands so that my son can satisfy his curiosity.

Newspaper headline writers are professionals at grabbing the attention of their readers, and they are very skilled at their trade. I take advantage of their talent by enthusiastically reading their headlines out loud. For example, SUV nearly slams into elephant--in Oklahoma and Buffalo Grove teen calls cops after parents take away Xbox appeared in the Daily Herald recently. Two of my favorites from the Chicago Sun-Times include Ancient crocs ate dinosaurs and Judge makes boy give up Wii system to make bail.

All of these headlines caught my eye, and made it to my son's ear. What boy wouldn't want to know more? My son was interested enough to read the articles himself, even though he "hates" to read. He didn't even realize he had been outsmarted by his mother.

Encouraging a reluctant reader is challenging, but it can be done. Parents who model reading have a big influence on their children, so pick up something interesting to read and let your children watch you having fun.

1 comment:

  1. It's so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it,especially boys. In fact, I've recently completed a feature magazine article on this subject that came out in October, "Help for Struggling, Reluctant Readers."

    I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

    My blog, Books for Boys http://booksandboys.blogspot.com is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And I have a new book, Lost Island Smugglers, coming out in July, 2010.

    Keep up your good work.

    Max Elliot Anderson


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