There are probably as many reasons for avoiding reading as there are children on the planet. But here are some of the most common;
- Reading is hard for the child
- Sitting still is hard for the child
- Stories do not interest the child
- The child prefers to play outside (or sports)
- The child prefers digital and audio/visual distractions
- The child has not been exposed to reading within the home
- The family cannot afford books
- The child does not see the importance of reading
That last point on the list can come with age, but by the time it does, the child may already be a long way behind their peers.
What's the big deal?
When a child shows little interest in reading (for any reason), parents and educators might despair, and rightly so. After all, a child that reads for pleasure naturally gets more practice at reading than the child who is reluctant to read.
So, I think as educators and parents we need to turn the statement around. The child that does not naturally read for pleasure, might find pleasure through reading.
By this, I mean, we need to encourage reluctant readers by tempting them with subjects that do interest them.
I have seen it time after time. A child protests that they don't like to read. But put a book about bikes, or a game they are obsessed with, or a TV show they binge watch, and the child will attempt to read the book.
Many of us have grown up with the image of the child who sits in a corner reading stories for hours on end. Yes, it's a beautiful thing. But let's not forget all the incidental and interest reading that kids could be doing. If the child has no passion for reading, you need to find the child's passion and give them books on that subject.
This is why it is very important to have non fiction and interest books at every level - not just fiction and stories.
Bookbot was designed with reluctant readers in mind. As well as fun and visually attractive stories, Bookbot is developing a levelled range of nonfiction titles to tempt a wider range of interests.
The Bookbot app also utilizes leading edge technology to be interactive and to appeal to the modern child.
New, game like features are in development to heighten motivation and increase reading practice time.
In conclusion, if the reluctant reader can be tempted by interesting subjects and/or interactive technology, they are likely to practice more. And more reading practice will lead to an improvement of skills.