My ADHD/LD son is a reluctant reader. He reads well below grade level and is fully aware of that fact. He would love to read the Harry Potter books or the new Twilight series like his friends are so engrossed in. However, these books are above his ability.
He has tried to read them in an effort to "fit in" but just ends up getting frustrated and upset with himself. The books that are on his reading level, Goosebumps for instance, are just too immature for him at this point. While he can read them quite easily, the content is not mature enough for him. Plus, he says his friends read all of those two years ago!
With all of that being said, I recently had a hard time getting him to want to read. We all know how very important reading is to the development of a child's mind, language and learning. So, what was I to do?
I came up with a few ideas that have actually worked. I want to share them with you in case you are having difficulty getting your reluctant reader to enjoy reading as well.
- Let your child help his younger siblings when they are reading. This will help build his self confidence which will in turn motivate him to read more.
- Allow your child to read anything (that is age appropriate of course). Whether it be the Sunday comics, game directions or Nick Jr. magazine... reading is reading.
- Visit the library and check out books specifically related to his interests. My sons have checked out books about skateboarding, basketball, music, etc. If the topic interests them, they will be more apt to read it.
- Let your child help you in the kitchen. Have him read the directions on the food you are preparing or read you the recipe out of a cookbook.
- Purchase, borrow or check out books on tape (or CD). Be sure and get the printed book as well. This will allow your child to listen to the book while following along in the printed book as well.
- Have him read the grocery list to you while shopping.
- My son's favorite is playing school. I let him be the teacher and I am the student. He has me read and corrects me when I make a mistake (on purpose of course).
I read another suggestion on About.com. They suggest having your child read "hi lo" books, or high interest low level books. "These books cover age-appropriate subjects for older readers but use vocabulary and phrasing for lower reading levels." For your convenience, they even provide a Top 10 HiLo Booklist. The list offers book suggestions for middle schoolers, tweens and teens.