Scholastic Tips for Reluctant Readers


If your child isn't quick to pick up a book, these top tips will help foster their love of reading. After all, a striving reader isn't necessarily a child who doesn't like to read: It's a child who hasn't discovered books they love yet. The good news is, it is absolutely doable when you’re reading at home!

Early Years

For children in lower primary school try picture books, graphic novels and early chapter books to get your child hooked on reading!

The reading skills your child develops when they are aged 5-7 are the foundation for success throughout the rest of primary school and beyond. Sometimes, striving or reluctant readers simply get overwhelmed and frustrated by diving into titles beyond their level, so captivating them with simpler yet still exciting reads is the best way to keep them glued to the pages. As a result, they'll build their reading skills and transform into an avid, happy reader before your eyes.

Middle Primary

If getting your child to start (let alone finish) a new book feels like a daily struggle, try exciting books that kids in years 3 to 5 love, ranging from relatable chapter books to action-packed graphic novels. This is particularly important for this age group, because enthusiasm for reading tends to wane around age 9. Letting your child pick books they love is a great place to start if you want to keep them excited about reading. Plus, the literacy skills your child develops now will help determine their success throughout the rest of primary school and beyond.

Upper Primary

When it comes to creating a home reading routine and encouraging your pre-teen striving reader to pick up a book and read, it’s best to not force it. The best thing you can do as a parent is to be an example of lifelong learners and readers. If you can find subjects that your child is interested in, then reading practice becomes part of the normal routine and it is looked at as learning. When children choose their own reading material, they are more likely to continue reading on their own. It is vital it is that you find out what your child is interested in or passionate about.

Try these ideas:

+ Fill your home with reading material

Whether it is another title from a favourite series, sports magazines or pages, or comic books, any kind of daily reading is good for your children.

+ Play writing games together

Save the kids' crosswords, word-searches, anagrams or cryptograms from newspapers or magazines. They are great for building vocabulary and stretching thinking skills.

+ Read and do

Provide cookbooks, ‘how-to’ books and other activity books and ask your children to follow the instructions and cook or make something.

+ Turn off the TV

Set aside time to do family literacy things together — play board games, tell stories or jokes, present concerts or just sit on the couch and read together.

+ Choose a different book

Challenge your children to choose a book that interests them but is different to the books they would usually go for.


Choosing the Right Book for Your Child

It's not always easy finding a book your child will enjoy, or to encourage them to read the ones you recommend. Here are some ideas to help you find the perfect book for your child and encourage a love of reading:

Follow their passion

Finding the right book depends on the individual. Your child’s taste in books will reflect their personal interests. Discover what your child is interested in and find books relating to that subject.

Give choices

Let your child be involved in the process of choosing a book to read. Scholastic recommends books that can serve as a jump-off point to independent reading, such as informational texts and graphic novels. Fun informational texts and books with facts are another great way to spark interest. Exploring different forms of reading material will broaden their horizons and make it more likely that they will seek it out on their own. Whether they’re interested in newspapers, journals, magazines, or chapter books, allow them to read what piques their curiosity.

Almost anything goes

Your child may be inspired to read a particular book if they have seen the relevant movie, are attracted to a specific genre (such as mystery or fantasy), or a particular type (such as comics or graphic novels). They will eventually move on to more sophisticated material.

Start somewhere . . . anywhere!

Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. Your child can begin reading lower than their actual reading level and if they are interested in the subject matter they will work their way up.

Ask lots of questions

Get information on currently popular authors, book titles and topics by asking librarians, teachers and other parents.
Pay attention to what other children like. Suggest to your child that they might like to read what their friends are reading.

Take a subtle approach

Don’t bombard your child with a pile of books. Start with one at a time.

Start a series

Many kids start their love of reading by getting hooked on a fun, easy chapter book series such as Captain Underpants or Ella Diaries. The anticipation for the next installment and adding to their collection can be very appealing to children.

Talk about books together. Children like to talk about a book they are reading or have just finished. Spend time talking with them about their opinion of the book. Suggest favourite books from your youth that they might enjoy reading.