ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get a Reluctant Reader to Read

Updated on January 8, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, an industrial engineer, a mother of two, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

What Will Help Your Child Want to Read?

Practices makes perfect. How then do you get a reluctant reader to read in order to improve their reading skills?

  1. Find out your child’s true reading level. Reluctant reading could be a sign that your child is behind the rest of their class or struggling to keep up in one aspect. The teacher may have abandoned phonics for whole language and your child hasn't memorized all the sight words, or your child may be reading the text aloud by lack comprehension of the unfamiliar words. Find out what your child understands now and work on the areas where he or she is behind.
  2. Go to the library and enjoy the variety of reading materials. Let your child try many different books and move immediately to another title if it is too hard. The issue is to get practice.
  3. Install educational software for reading, literacy and spelling on your home computer. Set up a timer to enforce a minimum time spent on the educational software. Turn off the internet connection to prevent surfing instead of learning.
  4. Take turns reading pages of a bedtime story. If your child struggles to read a whole page, alternate reading paragraphs or sentences. Alternatively, pull out baby books and let the child read these familiar books quickly, building confidence, before moving back to readers that are on level.
  5. Is your child starting to read independently? Don't stop reading to your child. Reading to your child while they can follow along builds their confidence and comprehension. In fact, encourage your child to read to you from their favorite books even after you've read to them. Reading is a skill improved by practice of all kinds.
  6. If your child is struggling at their current reading level, re-read many books at the lower level. After reading speed and comprehension improves, return to reading material at the higher level.

Children often see reading as a chore, not a pleasure, while refusing to read makes it harder to improve their literacy level.
Children often see reading as a chore, not a pleasure, while refusing to read makes it harder to improve their literacy level. | Source

7. Workbooks on reading, spelling, phonics and comprehension are cheaper than tutors. Buy a few workbooks on the areas in which your child is weak and set aside time each day to build up these skills.

8. Bribery, though often maligned, can help. Offer a reward for completing a certain number of books. For young children, use five as an attainable goal. For older children, require ten books read. That number can be reduced if chapter books and longer books are read. Offer a reward like a movie night, miniature golf or family outing of the child’s selection. Before flinching at the price of the outing, remember that this is cheaper than several hours at a tutoring center. Require a minimum score, at least the equivalent to passing grades, before any rewards are given in return for the work.

8. Use the library’s free movie lending to reduce the cost of bribing your child to read. Permit your child to select a movie to watch at home after they have read a book at the library. If they refuse to read, place the movie back and go home.

9. Hold the TV and gaming devices hostage if necessary. There is no television or video gaming until after a minimum time is spent reading or a book is completed.

10. If your child continues to resist reading, have their reading skills assessed. Your child's reading comprehension may be low, causing them to fear reading because of its difficulty.

11. If your child loves a particular character, offer to buy a new book about this character when they finish the current title. If your child makes progress on these books, buy the whole series so that you can feed them to your child as soon as each book is done. While you may balk at buying a whole set of 15 Bernstein Bears or Jimmy Neutron books now, it is cheaper than having to pay for literacy tutoring later. You can save money by buying the books in sets online or borrowing the group from the library.

12. Enter your child in summer reading programs that reward kids for how many books they read, so they gain an incentive and support network for reading.

13. Take younger children to story time events and talk excitedly about how much fun it would be for the child to be able to read stories for themselves.

14. When your child has started reading, don't stop reading to them. Reading to them helps reinforce sight word recognition and proper pronunciation of words.The joy of being able to read their favorite, known stories is also positive reinforcement.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)