Kids who struggle with reading often do everything they can to avoid reading. Unfortunately, this is counter-productive and only increased the problem. Reading is a “participation sport” that children have to DO to get better. The more a child uses his reading skills, the stronger they become. What to do to get kids reading more so they actually build reading skills is the question on many teacher’s and parent’s minds.
Children like books that make them laugh or that appeal to their special interests. One little girl I know loves any books that have to do jokes. She has also watched all of the Harry Potter movies several times and loves any books that have to do with dragons or magicians. she can’t wait for the day when she can read the Harry Potter books all on her own. A boy I know, loves to not only watch the Merlin TV show each week, but to also read the Magic Treehouse books featuring a wizard by the same name as the character he knows and enjoys on television. The extra reading practice builds both reading skill and background knowledge.
Another boy loves anything to do with motocross racing. Buying materials that appeal to these interests, keeps these children practicing their reading and enjoying every minute of it. Magazines on a topic of interest can be just as interesting and skill building as any other type of reading material. If a child likes movies that have books connected with them or books that feature the characters from a TV or movie show, then by all means, introduce the child to these special treasures. So, take the time to get to know what interests the reluctant readers that you know and you may just find that they will spend many hours practicing their reading when they might not have done so before.