Would your child rather do dishes or take out the trash than read a book? They are not the only ones. Parents often hope their kids have a natural genuine interest in reading, especially since reading is a fundamental language skill that can help in learning other skills. However, some kids are just not interested in reading for fun. In fact, some kids actively hate the act of reading. If you are concerned that your child’s lack of interest in reading might affect their performance and learning in school, there are ways to help them to become more motivated and actually enjoy reading.
Why does my child hate reading?
The first step in getting your child to enjoy reading is to find out why they hate reading in the first place. There are many reasons why your child dislikes reading, including:
- Reading material is too hard– When your child tells you they find reading boring, it might not actually be the act of reading itself they find boring. Most likely the material they are reading is too challenging for them and they end up finding it boring because they cannot understand the text.
- Reading material is too easy – Finding the right reading material for your child can be challenging. Although one reason they do not like reading is that the text might be too hard, another reason could be that they find the text too easy to read. When children read a text that is too easy for them it diminishes their motivation as they find the reading uninteresting.
- Undetected learning disability – Sometimes a child might not enjoy reading because they are struggling with reading. While it could be a matter of reading material, it could also be that an undetected learning disability or dyslexia is manifesting as reluctance. In this case, it would be worthwhile to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss progress and possible assessment.
- Underexposure – Children might not find an interest in reading because they are just not exposed to enough reading at home. Modeling an interest in books can help them to be more encouraged to explore reading on their own.
- Connection to reading material – Reluctance to read might also come from not having any connection to the materials they are reading. They could be lacking comprehension and connections to the text which makes them bored with reading.
- Genuinely not a reader – Another reason your child dislikes reading is simply they are not interested in reading as a hobby. Instead, they might be more into playing outside or doing something creative.
How do you motivate children to read?
Whatever the reason for your child’s dislike in reading, there are ways to help encourage and motivate them to read and to actually enjoy reading.
- Provide reading materials at their level and slightly above their level – Getting your child interested and engaged in reading material is all about providing a variety of books at different levels. You should give them books that are at their reading level but also give them some that are just one or two levels higher. This can help them to steadily build confidence and keep them interested and challenged enough.
- Encourage reading for pleasure not purpose – Only reading homework materials can make reading seem like a chore that they do not want to do. Instead of only encouraging them to read homework, you can build motivation to read by reading for fun with them. Start reading a book series together as a family or even just reading a short book with them every night can help them learn to read for fun and not just for school.
- Let them choose the reading material – There are plenty of “must-read” lists out there for kids, but they are not going to be any of use in your home library if your child does not care to read it. When you visit the library or bookstore, you should give them the freedom to choose reading materials on their own.
- Encourage environmental reading – Environmental reading is about encouraging reading anything and everything. From billboards on the road to shampoo bottles in the shower, reading everything they see can help them to see the importance of reading in everyday life.
- Use free reading apps for kids – Another great way to encourage reading for kids not interested is to get them to read using technology. Most kids these days are playing and using computers, smartphones, and tablets. Why not use these tools to encourage reading practice? There are many free reading apps for kids that are designed to turn reading into a fun activity.
What is the best free reading app for kids to get them to love reading?
The Readability app uses AI technology and speech recognition to help young readers build their reading skills and stay engaged in the reading. It essentially works as a private reading tutor for your child. The app listens to your child as they read aloud and makes notes of any errors they might be making in pronunciation and fluency. It then gives them instant feedback to help them read better as well as provides you with progress reports. Readability makes reading fun for kids and can turn any reluctant kid into an avid reader.