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Sunday, March 5, 2017

How to Encourage the Reluctant Reader

Many boys are reluctant readers.  Studies will tell you all the reasons why this happens, but what you want is a solution.  After homeschooling two sons, I can certainly agree that they didn’t have a good appetite for reading.  They both learned to read quickly, but soon came to think that reading wasn’t fun.

Looking at the “readers” available to children in elementary levels, it can be easy to see why boys might be bored or reluctant to read.  Readers are designed to have a balance of stories and focused on including certain types of words and sentences.  Many readers are part of a comprehensive plan to incorporate a spelling and vocabulary list.  The book authors have many requirements when they write these stories.  All of this can result in a boring book filled with stories that seem to have no relevance to young boys.

When I found out how this was causing my boys to dislike reading, I made changes to their curriculum.  There are many ways to encourage reluctant readers.
The first thing to do is to improve their available choices.  Boys can have very different interests, but most young boys tend to like these types of books:
  • What will I be when I grow up-  There are many grade/age level books about this.  (ex. I Want To Be A Fireman)
  • Series books = The amazing amount of book series will allow you to help him select suitable books.  My son was hooked on a series called, “Hank the Cowdog“.  He read every single one, and luckily they were at our library.
  • Humor books – Boys love humor, and sometimes it’s pretty crude, right? (burping and farting)  Books of jokes or just silly books are fine to read.  Boys will read things that make them laugh, and they’ll share with you every funny thing!
  • Science-fiction – Boys love science-fiction and there are books at every level in this genre


If you keep your boys bookshelf stocked with books that get them excited about reading, the love for reading will grow.  As long as they’re reading, the level of reading will improve.  I’ll be writing more about other great ways to encourage good reading skills.  First, they need to read and enjoy it!
Disclosure: Affiliate link enclosed.


@2017, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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