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How to Motivate Struggling Readers

By Audra Glidewell

In order for struggling readers to become better readers, they have to READ, which is the last thing they want to do if they are struggling.  Thus, it’s our job as parents to find ways to motivate them. One of the best ways to motivate all teenagers to read is to find books on (or just above) their level that are of high interest to them. If they can find books they love about their interests, they are much more likely to actually read. Whether it’s helping your child find a book about vampires or one about skateboarding, putting in the time to find the right book is a great investment. Your child’s teachers and school librarian can be great resources for finding books. (And don’t forget about graphic novels and comic books, which can be helpful for struggling readers because of the visual cues.)

Another way to motivate teens and tweens to read is to model it for them. Talk to your child about what you are reading, whether it’s a report for your job or a just-for-fun novel. Let your teen see you reading for pleasure.  Or why not read the same book as your child and start up conversations about it?

What about when your kids are assigned a book for school, and they just can’t get excited about it? No! Don’t let them watch the movie version! I suggest having them read the book while listening to the audio of it. The audio keeps them moving along through the book and will hopefully draw them into the plot.  This technique works for all kids but is especially helpful for students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and ADHD.

Editor’s Note: Audra Glidewell is a former high school English teacher with a passion for helping students build their literacy skills. Good Life Family is fortunate to have her as our Senior Copy Editor.

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