17th January 2020
I often see and hear discussions amongst parents and teachers about children who really struggle to engage with reading, often young boys, who really don’t feel that ‘reading mojo’.
A top tip that I discovered through my work and with my own children, particularly with the boys, is non-fiction books. There are so many amazing, colourful and exciting, as well as interactive ones around these days, not like the dry, heavy encyclopedias and atlases of my school days when I was attempting to answer my weekly ’20 general knowledge questions’ homework!
Don’t worry that it’s not a story book for now, there is plenty of time to find a passion for a fiction genre later on. Find some topics that your child is really excited by, whether it is trains, sharks, the human body, Lego, or even gaming – the topic really does not matter on the whole – and then encourage them to spend time just looking through the books. Keep it unpressured initially, just for looking through together or independently. I found that keeping a selection of books in the car door pocket worked really well, and making them the first option of activity when the cry of “I’m bored” or “how much further” goes up! Also, try and resist giving them a phone or tablet to pass the time but encourage them to look at and discuss the contents of their car book selection instead during routine journeys. With no other options they may well start to read bits spontaneously. Hopefully this approach will generate a discussion and lead to them wanting to read a bit deeper themselves. A softly, softly approach which appears to be led by the child will probably work best.
I have found The Book People (@thebookpeople) a great place to start for a for good value selection of new non-fiction books, but I would also encourage you to try your local library and the Barrow Hills School library too.
The Barrow Hills Librarian