This is a sponsored article (with Reading Eggs – including a FREE 5 week trial for YOU in September), but all advice is heart-felt as I have a reluctant reader (my son), and I know that all of these things have worked for me. We still struggle to get him to read sometimes, but it is MUCH better than it used to be.
We are all striving to get our children to enjoy, and do more reading; we all know what impact it can have on their lives. Reading is one of the THE most important skills that we learn as a child. But what do we do when we have a reluctant reader, and they don’t have the patience or the inclination to sit still, and read a book! You may be surprised to learn that technology may be able to help you….
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Sadly, too many reluctant readers feel like reading is a chore, and sitting down to look at a book with you becomes a battle. Once that mindset has set in, it is very, very difficult to shift it. A program of activities like Reading Eggs, which can be tailored to the age of the child, and their abilities, can really help to turn reading into a game.
We’ve tried the Reading Eggs service for both our children, and we loved it! It really helps children to learn to read, but in an oh, so sneaky “we really don’t know we are learning” kind of way…. And THAT’S the secret to getting a reluctant reader to take part, isn’t it? You really do have to stop them from thinking they are being “taught” or pushed. As soon as there is a hint of that… *switches off*
Embrace the eReader
When it comes to using eBooks, and eReaders to encourage our children to read, we can all get a case of the reluctant readers! However, if you embrace the technology involved within eBooks, then you soon discover that the functionality they bring can help your children to explore more than just the book. Reading becomes more than just about the written word; you discover new ideas about the books, from understanding the language within the book using the definitions you can call up, to exploring the story and settings in more depth.
And who doesn’t love that the eBook remembers where you last got to – because what reluctant reader doesn’t get distracted once in a while… *ooh something shiny*
Explore the story using your computer
Why not try to use the techology around you, not just the eBooks/eReaders, to explore the setting for the books that your children are reading?
We’ve got access to so many wonderful resources on the computer – let’s use them:
- Explore the cultures where the books are set,
- Visit the locations on Google Maps and even “fly” over them,
- Print out some pictures from the books to colour in, there are so many resources out there, most of the popular titles has associated colour pages – perhaps we’ve even got some in our printables section, and
- Expore some of the themes and ideas in the books in a little more detail, for example, what IS a Phoenix, and where did those ideas of J. K. Rowling’s come from? Is there a little bit (or a lot!) of legend in the Harry Potter books, and which legends are which?
You can bet there are plenty more ideas that you can think of, why not let us know them in the comments below?
Encourage your kids to do online reviews for the books they DO read
Writing reviews of books you have read is a stable for the schoolroom, but it is perfectly possible to make them a little more exciting than a few lines in a school book. Why not check out some of the online review sites with your kids? The School Library Association (SLA) recommends Toppsta, and you can’t get a better endorsement than that…!
Writing reviews of the eBooks (and “real” books) your child has read helps other children to choose wisely when it comes to their next book. Even better though, it gets your children really thinking why they enjoyed, or even didn’t enjoy, a particular book. This should help them make better choices about their reading in the future as well.
Get your kids to record their favourite story!
If your children have a favourite book, perhaps within Reading Eggs, or from their tablet, or even a good old traditional picture book, why not record them reading it aloud, and then get them to listen to themselves reading it as they go through it
This idea works best for younger children, because the books are shorter, and it is simpler to record the stories. It is definitely worth a try though, as it has been shown that children listening to themselves read better. Why not give it a go with your child’s choice of book? Most smartphones can record audio, so you should have something to hand easily. Not need to reach for a tape deck! ;-)
These are our ideas for using technology to inspire reluctant readers, what are yours? And don’t forget our Reading Eggs Trial either – yours for free for FIVE weeks!
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See you next time!