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Easy tips to engage reluctant readers

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Do you have a reluctant reader on your hands? You are not alone! All educators and some parents, inevitably encounter children who don’t like to read.



We teachers strive to ‘leave no child behind’. Parents often ask us a lot of questions on how we inspire reluctant readers and equip them to become successful readers and writers.


It is widely known that children learn best when they are motivated. All children should be active interpreters of the classroom reality rather than just passive recipients of instruction.


We mostly have a class full of enthusiastic learners who exude excitement when it is time for reading, whether as a large group or in pairs perhaps. But we do come across one or two of them who visibly hang their head, looking rather hesitant. This more than likely happens at home too. Reluctant readers are often discouraged readers who do not feel engaged or successful in reading.


So here are some tips to get these little ones interested to engage in books, reading and storytelling. Let us start with choosing a book. While it is important that we really comprehend what the child is interested in- would they prefer a fairytale, a story about space and dinosaurs or a simple familiar story in print?


Once you discover a book that the child would like to read then you could suggest that you read the book to them first. Now, this is your time to shine! If you give a theatrical and engaging performance of the book then you are more likely to hold the child’s attention, bringing you a step closer to encouraging the child to read the book themselves.

So here are some basic tips to get these little ones interested to engage in books, reading and storytelling at home.


1. Choose the right book-

It is really important that you understand what your child is interested in. Would they prefer a fairytale, a story about space and dinosaurs or a simple familiar story in print? Pick out their favourite topics and let them choose. This will make sure that they are invested in what they are about to do.


2. Capture your child’s attention-

Once you discover ‘the’ book, then you could volunteer to read the book to them, at first. Now, this is your time to shine! If you give a theatrical and engaging rendition of the book, then you are more likely to hold your child’s attention. This brings you a step closer to encouraging your child to read the book themselves.


3. Celebrate even the smallest success-

Once you get your child engrossed in the story, things get a lot more exciting! As a parent and an educator, we get to track our children’s reading with charts, stickers, rewards, or even a big hug! We want to remember to celebrate your child’s success. Even the smallest improvements should be celebrated! One other way is to get a reading buddy for your child. It can be a classmate, an older sibling or even a friend whom they hang out with usually. Children almost always enjoy getting to delve into an activity with a buddy in tow!


4. Don’t fall into the trap

It may be frustrating to have children who do not seem interested in reading no matter how hard we try. We must remember that these little ones are often just discouraged. More importantly we want to keep motivating them to continue to grow in reading and show them that they are in fact little learning readers, who are on their way to success!



To conclude, it takes time and patience on to get children interested in picking up a book and start reading. It is important to keep at it and keep finding ways to make it interesting! If there are lingering concerns about a child’s readiness or reading pace, it’s best for parents and teachers to connect and collaborate on how to help the child.


Need some further tips? Don’t forget to post them below and our passionate teachers with years of experience will get back to you.

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