Even for children who aren't bookworms, reading is a big part of life. And there are plenty of ways to develop language and reading skills that don't involve reading books or textbooks. Try these strategies to integrate reading-focused skills into your reluctant reader's everyday life:
- Talk about TV and Movies: Encourage your child to tell you about the shows he watched. Have him retell the plot and describe the characters to build his sense of narrative, story, and general comprehension skills.
- Based on the Book… or the Movie: It is great to give your child the book of a movie she liked, but also encourage reading by giving her books based on TV shows and movies that she already watches.
- Read Funny Favorites: Share comics, articles, jokes, and stories that make you laugh with your child. Read them aloud during breakfast or make it an after-school ritual. Ask him to tell you his funny anecdotes.
- Books-a-Plenty: Make sure that there are books available to your child in every room of the house and everywhere she goes, from having magazines in the car to bringing a comic book for her to read while waiting on line.
- Read in Public: Let your child see that you like to read for fun. It's important to show that you enjoy reading and make time for it if you expect him to believe that reading is a fun fundamental.
- Interactive Is Interesting: Use the Internet with your child to explore a subject she enjoys. Try to find sites that include fun graphics or games and aren't too text-heavy.
- Get a Subscription: Kids enjoy getting mail, and a subscription to kids' magazines will give him something to look forward to every month that is his. The idea that the magazine is just for him makes it more appealing to read.
- Go to Story-Hours, Readings, and Plays: Show her that a lot of kids and adults enjoy books by going to readings and story-hours at your local library or bookstore. Plays are especially great, since they are a form of literature designed not to be read, but to be seen.
- Introduce Pig Latin: Make learning a new language a fun experience by teaching your child to speak in Pig Latin. The idea of talking in code is appealing and will actually develop your child's ability to mentally picture words, figure out how they are spelled, and rearrange the letters within them.