Encouraging children to read – a step by step guide – part 2.

So now for the second part of our blog:

4.If they are only just starting to read “chapter” books on their own make sure there are plenty of pictures. It certainly helps the story along.

5. Make sure the book isn’t too thick. The prospect of reading a really long book can be all too much for the new reader.

6.I know that the temptation is to “stretch” children by giving them something that is quite a lot of effort, but I would urge you to consider whether if you were sitting down to enjoy a good book, you would want one that was an effort to read, perhaps because the words were hard to read or you didn’t understand all the meanings. Let them get the reading bug first and be begging you to give them the latest in a favourite series (even if it is the 75th Rainbow Magic book they’ve read), then, ever so gradually, try something else, one small step up. If they’re not keen, they’re probably not quite ready to move on. At the end of the day, once they get the reading bug, I don’t think you’ll be able to stop them and they’ll naturally move on to harder things. If they’re reading a lot of books, join the library-you don’t have to buy them. Local libraries are usually more than happy to order you as many books as your child wants from a series and on children’s tickets they rarely charge for the privilege.

7. Try to find books that are popular with other children. It seems that if one child likes a particular book, there is a very good chance that others of the same age or reading at a similar level will like it too. Look at book reviews and choose only books that have 4 and 5* ratings. Take care with reviews that are written by adults who say that they “loved this book when I was young”.Some of the classics, although enjoyed by many children have quiote a lot of description and it seems that in the fast paced world in which we now live, children often cannot face wading through 7 pages setting the scene, before anything actually “happens” in the story.

Hummingbird Books only lists books that children have rated as 4 or 5* books, so you may find this a useful resource when looking for books for your child.

8. Ask friends for ideas for books to read,  something they have enjoyed. When children chat about books, they tend to encourage each other to read, maybe swapping books to give each other something new to try.

9) If your child is a bit older and is perhaps a reluctant reader, although quite capable, follow the guidelines given here still, but ensure that the subject matter of the books is suitable for his/her age and not “babyish”. Books for reluctant readers are in a special section on our website for this reason.

10) If your child has always found reading difficult, again, follow the guidelines given here, but ensure that the subject matter of the books he/she is reading is age appropriate – more ideas in our section for struggling  and dyslexic readers.

If you have any great tips to encourage your child’s love of reading, we’d love to hear from you.


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