Turning Reluctant Readers into Resilient Readers

“Kids these days don’t like to read – they just want to be in front of a screen!”

“I loved reading as a kid, but my child would rather do anything than sit down with a book. Where did I go wrong?”

“My kid gets extra frustrated with reading homework. They just won’t put any effort into that class.”

If this sounds like you, you may have a reluctant reader on your hands. Kids are usually reluctant to read for one of two reasons:

  1. There could be something going on with their mastery of phonics and phonemic awareness. This makes reading hard and not enjoyable, and therefore your child is reluctant to try.


2. Your child hasn’t found their reading sweet spot. Even though they don’t have trouble sounding out words, they don’t read for a long time, get bored quickly, or show a lot of resistance to picking up a book and starting to read.

If you have a hunch it could be the first reason (for example, your kid struggles to sound out words or to read aloud fluently), then check out my previous post about seeking out explicit, skills-based instruction around phonics and phonemic awareness or reach out to me to discuss further. Until your child has these skills, reading will continue to be a hardship.  

If you think it could be a motivation issue, I’ve got a great resource for you to turn your child into a motivated, resilient reader!

The Reading Preferences Survey helps you discover your child’s reading style. Do they have a favorite spot at home to read? A favorite genre? A preferred mode of reading?

Many parents have experienced big shifts using this survey to have a conversation around reading with their child. From where they read, to what they read, to how they read, getting into the details with them will help you figure out what’s next on their reading journey.  

Armed with this new information, take a trip to the library and find books that reflect their reading preferences, create a safe, warm space at home to read, or follow their lead based on your new open conversation around reading.

Make sure to offer them several choices, so they feel listened to and empowered to make their own reading choices.

And, a reminder to stay open about what “counts” as reading: graphic novels, how-to books, and image-heavy non-fiction books are just as valuable as chapter books, especially if they get your child excited about reading!

In the meantime, use the Reading Preferences Survey to reach your reluctant reader and marvel at the change in energy in your home around reading!

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