How Parents Can Help At Home With Reading And Math Motivating Reluctant Teens to Read

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Motivating Reluctant Teens to Read

Teens can become reluctant readers. Sometimes this is because most of the reading they do is for school and therefore for work. Another cause may be that they have difficulty reading at the level of their peers. Often this leads them to take a defensive position and declare that reading is stupid, not fun or boring.

Parents can help by encouraging independent reading. Independent reading is motivating because it involves choosing a topic of interest to the reader, in this case, the teenager. This is the reading we all do for our own enjoyment and entertainment. Instead of pushing to read at a certain grade level, let that reading be at a level that the teen is comfortable with. The point here is to reinforce success and create a sense of confidence. Naturally, the teenager will look for more difficult material as they become more comfortable and confident. Here are some ideas on how to keep a teenager motivated to read.

Schedule a weekly trip to the library. Get library cards for every teen. Let them choose any material they would like to look at for the coming week. Be open to CDs, DVDs, tapes, magazines or books. When there is no pressure to choose a particular type of material, teenagers feel able to choose something of interest and at a level they are willing to deal with in order to enjoy it. Remember, you want to develop a lifelong reader.

Encourage your teen to join a book club. Many libraries and some schools have book clubs specifically for teenagers. Teens enjoy interacting with other teens and can share books that interest them.

Get a driver’s manual. Most teenagers want to be able to drive. Get a driver’s manual and have them study for their driving test. If they have trouble reading the manual, please help them.

Weekly cooking Work with your child to establish one night a week as dinner prep night. Let them choose the menu, find recipes, check if all the ingredients are on hand and, if not, add them to the weekly shopping list. When they start, you may need to lend a hand. As they become more experienced cooks, you will need to provide less help. Cooking not only improves reading and math skills, it is a vital life skill.

Pen pals. If your teen has a favorite relative, see if the relative would be willing to exchange letters or e-mails with your child. In addition to reading, feeling connected to others is helpful during a time when teens are searching for answers about themselves and their identity.

Develop a personal library. Encourage your child to develop a library of favorite books. In addition to purchasing new books, they can add books to their collection through yard sale purchases, thrift stores, and library sales.

Give your child a magazine subscription. Choose a magazine that deals with a topic your child is interested in: cars, wildlife, movies, or anime. Another closely related approach is to let them sign up for an e-newsletter or e-magazine.

These ideas can help your teen become a motivated and lifelong reader, encouraging them to see reading as a way to enjoy and learn more about the world around them.

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