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For the Love of Books!

"Books are a uniquely portable magic"  Stephen King

Encouraging Reluctant Readers: A Guide for Parents and Carers of Secondary School Pupils

As parents, we all want the best for our children, and that includes helping them develop strong reading habits. Reading is not only a fundamental skill but also a gateway to knowledge, creativity, and critical thinking. However, many parents and carers face the challenge of motivating their secondary school-aged children to read when they seem reluctant. If you find yourself in this situation, don't worry; we've got you covered. In this blog, we'll explore some effective strategies to encourage reluctant readers and instil a love for books in your secondary school pupils. You can also visit Learning at Bradfield / Reading on our website for more guidance.

1. Lead by Example:

Children often emulate their parents' behaviour, so it's essential to set a good example. If they see you enjoying a book, they are more likely to be curious about reading. Create a family reading time where everyone reads together. This can be a cosy evening routine that fosters a love for books.

2. Find Their Interests:

One of the most significant obstacles to getting children to read is finding material that genuinely interests them. Help your child explore different genres and topics until they discover what they love. Whether it's science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or non-fiction, catering to their interests is key. Find books that relate to their hobbies: football, gaming or gymnastics, for example.

3. Visit the Library:

Libraries are treasure troves of knowledge and imagination. Take your child to the local library and let them browse through a variety of books. Librarians can also recommend books based on your child's age and interests. Encourage them to visit the school library during the day; we have a plethora of new books to suit a variety of interests and ages and our library is open every day at social times.

4. Set Realistic Goals:

Establish achievable reading goals with your child. For example, you can challenge them to finish a certain number of pages or chapters in a week. Celebrate their progress with small rewards to motivate them further.

5. Create a Reading Space:

Designate a quiet and comfortable reading space in your home. This space should be free from distractions like TV, video games, or phones and should include a cosy chair, good lighting, and a bookshelf with a variety of books.

6. Be Supportive, Not Pushy:

It's crucial to strike a balance between encouraging your child to read and not pushing them too hard. Forcing a child to read can have the opposite effect. Show genuine interest in their reading choices and provide positive reinforcement.

7. Use Technology:

While you may want your child to embrace physical books, e-books and audiobooks can be excellent alternatives, especially if your child is tech-savvy. Many e-readers and apps offer interactive features that can make reading more engaging.

8. Encourage Discussions:

After your child finishes a book, engage in discussions with them. Ask about their favourite parts, characters, and what they learned. This not only reinforces their reading habit but also enhances their comprehension and critical thinking skills.

9. Be Patient:

Encouraging a reluctant reader takes time and patience. Understand that children have different learning paces, and what works for one child may not work for another. Keep trying and adjusting your approach as needed.

In conclusion, encouraging reluctant readers among secondary school pupils is a journey that requires dedication and creativity. By setting a positive example, finding their interests, and providing a supportive environment, you can help your child discover the joys of reading. Remember that the goal is not just to make them read but to nurture a lifelong love for books and knowledge. So, keep the pages turning, and watch as your child's reading journey unfolds.


Lucy Dewsnap

Strategic Reading Lead and Subject Lead for English