Friday, November 16, 2012

Why Kids Don’t Like to Read and What to Do About It - Guest Post

Why Kids Don’t Like to Read and What to Do About It
Melissa Taylor

Oh, the lessons I have learned as a parent. Like your kids won’t be just like you. And that means, they may not arrive on this earth loving to read.

(Just one of the many parenting lessons I’ve learned!)

Since I loved to read and was a literacy specialist, I assumed that my daughters would love to read. Like me.


So, I put my education, experience, and creativity to good use with my own kids.

First, I had to figure out why each daughter didn’t like to read and then, what to do about it.

I determined that kids disliked reading because of four big reasons:
1. Too boring
2. Too tricky
3. Too blurry
4. Too “sitty”

You can apply this to the reluctant readers in your life. Think about what your young reader is telling you or showing you with behavior.

No problems reading, general disinterest = too boring.
If reading is too boring, your child just hasn’t found the right book.
1. Match your child’s interests to fiction and non-fiction books. Ask a librarian for help.
2. Hold a Book Swap party using the White Elephant Gift Exchange rules. Everyone must bring a book they’ve read and recommend.
3. Get your child her own library card. Allow her to max it out and try every book.

Problems with the skills of reading = too tricky.
If reading is too tricky, your child may be stuck with one of the many processes of reading. Find out from his teacher where she’s confused. (letter sounds, sight words, rhyming, . . . )
1. Practice rhyming with rhyming songs like “Down By the Bay”.
2. Practice phonics by playing “I Spy” with letter sounds: “I spy something that begins with the ____ sound.”
3. Reinforce comprehension by talking about stories together.

Problems with vision such as losing place when reading = too blurry.
If reading is too blurry, you’re going to want to get him a full comprehensive eye exam. Not a screening. You’ll want to observe his behavior and learning closely.
1. Watch for the red flags of a learning disability.
2. Be sure he’s getting nine hours of sleep a night.
3. Consider if Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is interfering.

Problems sitting still = too sitty.
If reading is “too sitty,” as in the case for my oldest daughter, think outside the chair.
1. Allow her to listen to audiobooks and pace, jump, and move.
2. Read to her at mealtime – she’ll be a captive audience.
3. Make a reading tent with flashlights, pillows, and plenty of wiggle room.

You’ll find more ideas, activities, products, and book recommendations in Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader. Hang in there. Once you find out the root of the issue, you can better help your child find Book Love. It will be so worth it!

Bio: Melissa Taylor is a mom, teacher, writer, and blogger at Imagination Soup. Find her on her new obsession, Pinterest, or at Book


  1. Great post Melissa! I love how you break it down so simply AND provide wonderful ideas to combat each one! Thank you!

  2. I think kids do not read because technology has helped to stop reading. After all, change is the same, now children and people read for recreation or exercise, not necessity as several decades ago. With reading the same thing is happening with physical exercise. Many years ago people ran and walked to move, nowadays this is done for fun or exercise.
    Joe - Recetas Faciles

  3. @Joe Hobbs Technology has certainly made big changes to our lives, Joe, I agree. But I think if parents try to keep a balance in kids' lives, we can use technology to motivate kids and help them learn. There are lots of young teens reading e-books - the story doesn't change, just the medium by which it's delivered.


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