• Learning to read can be hard for young kids. There are so many rules to remember, and of course those rules just don’t always apply. How do you encourage your struggling reader to keep with it so that they can become voracious readers?

    Here is what we did with our daughter. First of all, I allowed her to read whatever she wanted. That sounds crazy for me to say. I’m not suggesting you allow your five year old to pick up a horror novel. But I am saying, if they want a book about a cartoon character fine. If your son prefers comic books so be it. At least they are reading. We always let our kids pick their topics. We also make sure that there are books accessible at all times. We make sure to read in front of our kids. When kids are young, they look to their parents to see what types of activities are fun. If they see us enjoying to read, they will too.

    When kids are young, they look to their parents to see what types of activities are fun

    We make sure that we read aloud to our kids at least once a day. Our daughter was expected to read aloud with us as well. Just a sentence at a time at first, then to paragraphs and pages. Eventually, as her ability improved, entire books. My daughter always enjoys feeling like a big kid. We used that to get her reading. We would often ask her to read to her younger brothers. The fact that she can do something they can’t is good encouragement for her. We are also not above some old fashioned bribery. We made her a chart with 100 boxes on it. For each book she reads, on her own, without us reminding her, she gets to mark it off. When the chart is finished we will take her to Target to pick out a toy (sometimes, she even chooses another book) .  She gets a twenty dollar purchase limit, but can save up a few prizes to buy a bigger ticket item.

    It’s amazing to see the improvements each and every day that these few steps have created. Her confidence has grown to the point that she now loves to read. Which of course, is mission accomplished.