How to Hook a Reluctant Reader

Do you have a child who just doesn’t like to read? Maybe they had a hard time when they were learning to read and it burned them out, or perhaps they had a bad school experience with boring reading material. Whatever got them to this point, we need to take a step back and help them to find the joy in reading again.

That is why I made this video:

Some other tips and ideas:

Movie adaptations! Read the book first, then watch the movie together. Talk about the differences from book to film and what they would have done differently had they been in charge of the film. Sometimes just knowing that they will get to watch a movie is enough to motivate them to read the book.

Strewing –  The idea of strewing isn’t an original one. It has been a staple of unschooling for years. If your child balks at having assigned reading, just stealthily leave great reading material lying around. Choose books that you know they would enjoy or books about topics they are interested in learning more about.

Use screens! That’s right – I said screens. Let them listen to audio books on their iPhone, or read e-books on a tablet. Sometimes the different format is enough to engage them.

Start a book club – Invite a few of their friends to read the same book and then have a meeting where you enjoy a snack and talk about the book. Making it into a fun social experience can be really rewarding for your child. With younger children you might want to design some sort of art project or craft to go along with the story, but don’t feel pressured. I really like the book Deconstructing Penguins to guide you in discussing books with a group of children.

The most important tip I can give you is to keep reading a relaxing and fun activity.

If they don’t enjoy reading, making it into a “school” activity where they have to complete assignments based around a book will kill any joy they might have gotten from reading. Instead, read with them, leave books around the house that they might enjoy and then step back. Let them see you read, point them in the direction of books when they have questions they need answered, but don’t make a big deal about it. Let them come to it naturally. When you love books, and you show them how important books are to you, they’ll pick up on it.

Books mentioned in the video:

Other Related Article(s):


Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-10 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 14 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also makes incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also check out her author page on Amazon.

Have you seen my new book?

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