Help Your Child Want to Read

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by Patrice on February 7, 2011 · 7 comments

in Reading

Some kids look at reading as a magical opportunity to explore exciting places and new ideas while others consider it just another homework assignment that they must struggle through. A single mom who loves to read when she finally finds the time may be amazed when her child has no interest in reading a book that isn’t assigned by the teacher.

It takes a bit of time to coax an unwilling reader to reach their full reading potential, but consider the time spent reading as an investment in their future. Once the child falls behind in reading, it affects the rest of their learning and increases the chance that they will get discouraged.

A single mom can gently encourage her child to read by putting aside time to read together every day. Find books about things the child is interested in. If the books are above the child’s reading level but the content matches the maturity level of the child, go ahead and read the book to the child, encouraging the child to identify pictures on the page and then pointing out the words that describe the picture.

Persuade the child to find books of interest at the library. Remember that you don’t always have to agree on the choice of the book. Unless the child is not mature enough for the content of the book, let the child bring the book home and offer help and encouragement as needed. Reading doesn’t always have to be educational in other areas. The fact that the child is showing an interest in books and reading is a major step in learning. Fiction, fantasy and even comics will help your child read fluently and retain the subject matter.

Work on building the child’s vocabulary as part of your daily interaction with your child. The more words the child uses in normal conversation, the more words he or she will be able to identify on the page. Introduce new words as you tell your child about the history of your family, while on vacation or on day trips. If the child asks the meaning of a new word in a book, try to incorporate the word into your own vocabulary.

As your child gains confidence in the ability to read, start to build a library. Books can be expensive, but the single mom can find books in used book stores, at rummage sales and at thrift stores. Many libraries hold used book sales as fundraisers or to free up shelf space for new titles. If you choose a book that doesn’t interest the child at the moment, put it on the shelf. Interests change and the child may surprise mom by choosing the book at a later date.

Single moms can’t afford to wait until the teacher identifies the child as having a reading problem. Use every opportunity to have the child read to you to make sure that progress is being made. Show encouragement and support as the child’s reading ability increases to full potential.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie February 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Make it a point to go to the library together once a week. Pick out books that your child will like or offer to help them pick out a book. If they are just starting to read, ask them to read to you. And give lots of praise. And make sure they know how important reading is. And that it is a good way to escape.


Savannah February 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

Agreed! I loved going to the library when I was little. My mom actually bought a tandem bike, and we’d ride down together and pick out books. It’s a great memory for kids to have.


Rita March 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Go to bookstores with him and let him search for books that interests him. He would be more eager to read if he loves a certain story or topic.


Savannah March 22, 2011 at 8:25 am

If you want the search for books to be even cheaper, you can do the same thing at the library too!


Jasmine March 25, 2011 at 2:08 am

Books open your little one’s minds to great discoveries and to an excellent future. So, reading books need not to be boring or limited in schools. Stock your own home with books that can nourish your child’s imagination and further hone his mental skills. Even during school break, make it a habit for them to read.


Savannah March 29, 2011 at 10:20 am

When I was a child, I loved using a computer program called Reader Rabbit. Even if you’re child isn’t interested in physical books, see if you can get them interested in a game like this. It worked for me!


Savannah March 1, 2011 at 9:42 am

Look out for the signs!


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