Monday, December 13, 2010

How do I get my boys to READ?

Ms. Dorothy,
When it is time to read, how do I get my boys to sit and read for the amount of time appropriate for their grade? I have sons from grade school to high school, and they all seem to have a hard time focusing on reading. I find they wiggle and make excuses to not sit and read.
- Homeworking Mom

The first most important thing about getting kids to read is helping them to find something that interests them.
Remember that reading doesn't have to be about a novel either. Recipes are for reading, manuals, magazines, newspapers and even blogs can be great reading material.

One thing that a lot of busy parents overlook is the fact that children learn to value what they see their parents value.
Telling them about how important reading is to you isn't quite enough. They need to see the adults in their life read, and your boys need to see that the men in their life make time to read.

So often we save reading as a treat to enjoy when the business of the day is done, and the kids are off to bed. Making reading a treat to share with your sons in the middle of a weekend day can go a long way toward inspiring them to read. Everyone grab their own reading materials, find yourselves in the same room and read, read, read.


  1. "They need to see the adults in their life read"

    So true! So true! Ms. Dorothy, can you post sometime about the correlation between parents and children reading? I suspect it's a strong one, but don't know for sure...

  2. I believe that what children witness their adults do is more important than anything else. If you want your child to value something, don't just say it is of value, let them see you walk your talk.

    I don't know if there are any studies specifically about parental reading, but one of the most recent pieces of research I've seen on the subject of reading in the home actually found that the number of books in the home is an indicator of the level of education children will achieve. It was a more significant factor than the education of the parents or even household income!

    This article has a good summary and a link to the research at the end.