Dont panic if your child says I Hate Reading

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Disclosure:  This is a self-sponsored giveaway. The post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.


I hate reading.  Have you heard this declaration from your children before? 

When students enter my class each August, it’s inevitable that some of them will claim, “I hate reading.” It makes my heart hurt a little, because reading is so crucial to survival in our modern age.  Every day for the rest of their lives, their reading skills will influence their success and understanding of the world.  However, my approach to this teenage brick wall is very passive.  I don’t try to change their minds. I try to change their experience.  It’s hard to overcome a teen’s determination to be stubborn.  I’ve found that most students who claim they don’t like to read just haven’t found the book they like to read.  By introducing them to titles of different genres, it’s usually possible to find at least one book they’ll grudgingly admit they like.  Here are my secret strategies…just don’t tell the kids!

Read out loud.  Without fail, I choose a book that’s interesting enough to read out loud.  I use different methods — reading aloud myself is the best possibility.  While I don’t use the different voices, kids seem naturally drawn to the story when it’s being read in front of them.  My classroom falls completely silent as the students are immersed in the setting.  The kids beg me to continue when I stop at the end of a chapter.  When we finish a story, they race to the library to check out the next book. They can talk for hours, sharing their thoughts about the main character, or distinguishing fact from fiction.  Listing to me read out loud removes the threat of difficult decoding and problem pronunciation.  It enables them to enjoy the story. At home, you could read aloud at bedtime or during breakfast.

Choose a series.  If you go with a one-off title, your child might become “hooked” on THAT one book and not venture into others.  Since middle grades and young adult have become mainstream categories in their own rights, it’s hard to find a series that is widely unknown by my students.  Many of my students have already read The Lightning Thief, Hunger Games, and other popular books before they arrive in 6th grade.   Therefore, I look for similarly exciting stories that might be unfamiliar to most students.  Recently my daughter forced me to read recommended the book Prisoner of Cell 25.   She said it was electrifying….and she was right.  This book deserves more attention!   I plan to start reading it to my students in January.  It’s the first in the Michael Vey series, and I anticipate seeing many students continue to read the rest of the books.

Look for common interests.   Adolescence is a prime time for self-centered attitudes.  Use this to your advantage by looking for books that reveal common beliefs and concerns your child might have.  Sibling struggles, social faux pas, and uncertainty about finding one’s niche…troubles like this are found in bestselling books.  Why do you think Diary of a Wimpy Kid became such a hit?  Consider your child’s talents and interests, then look for books that highlight those areas.

Go for audiobooks.  “Thou shall read print books only” is not of one of the 10 Commandments.  If your child doesn’t like to sit still for stories, let him play with Legos while you listen to an audiobook together.   After I started the Michael Vey stories, I knew my son would love them.  I bought the audiobook, and we listened to it in the car during our morning commute. He loves it so much that he’s now listening to the second book in the series on his own.

Talk about the book.  Ask your child to share opinions about what happened.  Cuddle while you read a chapter together.  Above all…..listen when he wants to tell you about the story. Making the reading experience part of your everyday routine will build the habit — and love — of learning.

One lucky reader will win a paperback copy of the Michael Vey book I mentioned — Prisoner of Cell 25.  This book deserves more attention from young adult world!  The giveaway is open to readers who can receive free Amazon prime shipments (US) ages 18+. Void where prohibited by law. Good luck!


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  1. Diane Elizabeth says:

    I think growing up in a house of readers had the most influence. Weekly trips to the library were as routine as Saturday morning grocery shopping and going to church on Sunday.

  2. Audiobook is such a good idea !

  3. Seeing my mom and grandma love to read made me want to read.

  4. BookAttict says:

    I don’t remember a time in my life when I was not reading, or being read to. Books were always available, and the public library was a place where I spent a lot of time.

  5. John Smith says:

    I grew up around books.

  6. My aunt was a librarian. Every year for my birthday she would get me books & introduced me to many different series/genres.

  7. Julie Waldron says:

    I didn’t care much for reading when I was growing up and I came from a family of readers. I read here & there but didn’t really start enjoying it until I was in my 30’s. We have two daughters and they both LOVE to read, that makes my heart happy. 🙂

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