Encouraging Reluctant Readers on Winter Break
Do you have kiddos who think books are like pots and pans or a rake – only to be used in certain places? If you do, they are not alone. I was waiting for my youngest to finish with dance class one day. The older girls were starting to arrive for the next class. As they sat in another room lacing up ballet shoes and pinning up their hair I couldn’t help but eavesdrop as they carried on about the what’s going on’s of teenage school life. The main topic (as I am sure they knew adult ears other than mine were listening) was a book that all had been forced to read. After yeas and nays on the book had been passed around one girl confessed: “I don’t like to read.” “ YOU DON”T LIKE TO READ?!” I heard the other girls shout back at her. “Books are wonderful!” one girl added. “Why don’t you like to reeaaad?!” another one pleaded. An excellent question. One I would have liked to ask myself. I am fortunate that I grew up with a mama who not only took me to the library regularly (back then there was no money to buy books, even if there was a Books-a-Million or Barnes and Noble) but I also watched her read when we took road trips. For hours she’d be mesmerized by somebody’s words on a page, not initiating a word to me, my sister or my daddy. I always wondered what was on those pages that kept her attention so. Eventually as I began to develop my own love of reading I understood the potion like trance of a good story. Even for the kids, tweens and teens who think they don’t like to read, I believe, they just have not stumbled upon the right books for them – yet. A recent Nielson survey found that teens, aged 13-17, prefer print books over e-books. Additionally, Scholastic released a report this week stating that kiddos 6-17 want books:
- That make them laugh - 70%
- Make them use their imagination – 54%
- That tell a made up story – 48%
Do you have a reluctant reader living with you?