Author Topic: how to motivate kids to read?  (Read 1141 times)  

Offline musclehead

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
    • View Profile
how to motivate kids to read?
« on: April 12, 2018, 01:14:47 PM »
How can we get our kids interested in reading?

I have two teenagers, 16 and 17. They are facing a summer with not much to do, and will probably waste their time with video games and binging Netflix.

I want to encourage them to read a lot, a book a week, say. My first thought was to pay them for their reading. But it seems like I've read somewhere recently that that is a very bad idea. It teaches them to see reading as a chore, something to be endured so they can get the payoff at the end. But I can't remember where I read that, or what the better suggestion was.

Can you point me to that thing I read?

Or better yet, can you think of a GREAT way to motivate teens to read?

Offline NogDog

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10313
  • Gender: Male
  • Ankh-Morpork
  • My best friend Noggin -- R.I.P.
    • View Profile
    • eBookworm.us
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 02:24:04 PM »
Hmm...I'm pretty sure my love of reading was instilled way before that, and it was simply because I grew up with parents and an older sister who were always reading something, so I just assumed that's what people do. :)

If they're not interested in reading now, I'm not sure how to instill it at this point. But if they enjoy reading but don't make the time for it, then maybe find some sort of reading club (in real life or on-line) with readers of similar ages and interests that they could join. You know: get that peer-pressure thing going? ;) It might also help them discover books they'd really be interested in, perhaps.

Anyway, that's all hypothetical on my part, so take it with several grains of salt.

(Make your own reading bar)
Music Ed. major working as a software developer -- go figure | Member since 04/30/2009 | My Blog | GoodReads page
"Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett in Night Watch

Offline crebel

  • Status: Emily Dickinson
  • *******
  • Posts: 8297
  • Gender: Female
  • Ottumwa, Iowa
  • Member #1600 since January 15, 2009
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 03:31:18 PM »
You might find some suggestions in this older thread about encouraging a teenage boy to read. 

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231254.0.html

Since you mention Netflix as being a predicted pastime, maybe books with movie tie-ins; Harry Potter, The Martian, A Wrinkle in Time, etc.?
A book, I think, is very like a little golden door.
That takes me into places where I've never been before.
It leads me into fairyland or countries strange and far.
And, best of all, the golden door always stands ajar. - Adelaide Love

"Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way." ~ Barbara Bush

Offline MJAshwood

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 05:40:49 PM »
Wanna get a teenage boy to read?

Conan.

Offline Joseph M. Erhardt

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 241
  • Gender: Male
  • U.S.
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2018, 02:36:27 PM »
Let them catch you hiding a book.

Joseph M. Erhardt

Offline musclehead

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 02:32:56 PM »
Let them catch you hiding a book.

Best idea yet!

Offline VirgiliaCoriolanus

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 11:35:38 PM »
Oy. Going through this with my 9 year old nephew. He is staying with my family, and I have been the one making him read a few chapters every day after school, as he was never forced to read before (or do his homework, shocker!). It is slow going, and even in books he's semi interested in (right now he's reading The Witches by Roald Dahl), he has barely any recall i.e. if I ask him to tell me what happened in a chapter, he cannot tell except for literally like the first page, because that is all he paid attention to. Even trying to get him to read Harry Potter by luring him to watch the films hasn't worked.
~Virgilia

Offline Ann in Arlington

  • Global Moderator
  • Status: Shakespeare
  • *****
  • Posts: 65304
  • Gender: Female
  • Arlington, VA
  • Laugh Loud. Run Fast. Be Kind.
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018, 04:23:49 AM »
Seems to me that 'forcing' kids to read is counter productive. We didn't 'force' our son to read, but he always saw us reading, and when he was young -- heck, clear though middle school -- we'd read something together before bed. At first we read to him, of course, but as he learned, he'd take his turns reading to us as well. We'd generally try to choose things appropriate but just a little above his grade level to challenge him. And we were right there if there were words or concepts that required explanation.

I guess I felt like it was a matter of practicing -- if you don't do it much, you're not as good at it, and you don't want to so you don't get better. But if you practice, especially if you do so with someone else which makes in more enjoyable, then you get better and pretty soon you are happy to do it for your own enjoyment. Even when schools had 'read this many books' requirements we always approached it as, 'hey this is like telling you to play with Legos for an hour'. We'd encourage him to think of it as him getting to goof off and get credit for doing so!

This assumes, of course, there is no 'diagnosed' issue that is a roadblock: dyslexia or something of the sort, or even poor eyesight that makes it hard to see the words, let alone concentrate on what they say and figure out what they mean. In our case, I'd worn glasses since I was 5 or 6 so I knew it was a likely issue for the boy and got him used to going to the eye doctor regularly even from a pretty young age so that any issues would be discovered before they caused problems at school.

My Kindles
Nautilus (Voyage)
Oasis 2016
AquaKindle
Godric's Hollow (Basic)
S7Edge (KApp for Android)
Galaxy (KApp for Android)
(Make your own reading bar) | Ann Von Hagel | Arlington, VA | kboards  MODERATOR

Offline marianneg

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3139
  • Gender: Female
  • Dallas, TX
    • View Profile
    • Mariannerisms: my ramblings about books, TV, and life
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 05:00:45 PM »
I actually read a really good book about this within the last couple of months. Basically, she suggests buying them anything that they might read or flip through, even for a minute or two. If they're into sports, subscribe to Sports Illustrated, if superheros, buy comic books. Easy, low-commitment reading material. They may not be reading War and Peace any time soon, but at least they will be reading something. I know you said you wanted them to read a book a week, but if they don't read for pleasure at all right now, that is a really big expectation.

Read my blog about books, TV, and my life at mariannerisms.wordpress.com
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Pinterest
Friend me at Goodreads

Offline anguabell

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 712
    • View Profile
    • Goodreads
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2018, 02:07:37 PM »
Perhaps there is a movie they really like, based on a book? They might be interested in the characters and it helps to have all those visual images too. Something like Game of Thrones? But some people are just not readers. That has nothing to do with intelligence or imagination or anything else, they simply have no need to read for pleasure and prefer doing other things.

Offline horse_girl

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1241
  • Gender: Female
  • SFWA member
    • View Profile
    • Melanie Nilles author website
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 06:47:12 AM »
We started our kids young and got creative. When Minecraft first came out, our kids would want to play it ALL. THE. TIME! Seeing their enthusiasm for that game, we made them a deal--one minute of play time for each minute reading. Our oldest was finishing third grade and our youngest was finishing kindergarten. We don't have to even bother our youngest child or track minutes--she is always reading now, and re-reading. She LOVES almost everything.

Our oldest is picky, but she's been finding stories outside her usual limited interests. She's fourteen now and going to be starting high school in the fall. We have to push her to read, because she's always on her phone, ever since she inherited my old smartphone. I've threatened to walk her into the nearest cell store and replace my old smart phone with a flip phone. I'm |<-->| less than that close to doing it (any day now). She's a bright kid and super creative with her digital art, but always on that phone, usually listening to/watching youtube videos. She doesn't read much anymore. Most of her time is spent drawing, so I get frustrated in many ways.

We started out leveraging reading for something the kids enjoy, and then they learned to enjoy reading. Now, it's a matter of exerting our parental influence with the one who doesn't want to read as much. Here are some ideas for getting the older kids to read that I'm tempted to implement or suggest for your two:

1. A summer reading contest--a minimum number of books read by a set date with XX-number of pages. Whoever reads the most, as long as they read a minimum number, gets their choice of something special--a fun day, prize, etc. within your budget.
2. Make visits to the bookstore or library a regular stop when out with them (must spend time with the kids in the first place) and they must find at least one book that they promise to read. If buying and they don't read it (make them tell you about the book), then they have to pay for it (deduct from any allowance or bank account). Just getting them around books can be an easy way to get them browsing and start thinking about it at least.
3. Take away the distractions other than reading so they don't have a choice. Take the tv powercord with you to work, the game system controllers too.
4. Get creative on something that would work for your parenting style, reward them for the desired behavior (reading), and don't be afraid to get tough, but only if you can follow through on either the reward or other consequences.

I'm a tough-love parent, as you may have noticed. My kids have grown up with that, so they respect that they will be rewarded and know that I WILL follow through, one way or another.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 06:54:05 AM by horse_girl »


Romantic to Dark, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Melanie Nilles / M. A. Nilles | Website | Blog | Facebook | Google +

Offline Jeff Tanyard

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2346
  • Gender: Male
  • Georgia
  • Wait and hope.
    • View Profile
    • My Blog
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2018, 02:10:24 AM »
When I was a teenage boy, I read lots of Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler.

Whatever you decide, I hope you find them something they like.   :)
            v  v  v   Short Stories   v  v  v                   Anthology       vvv FREE! vvv
        
Jeff Tanyard | Author Website

Offline Rod Little

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 72
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Rod Little Author
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2018, 02:26:44 AM »
Take away the video games (or at least limit vdo games to 50 hours per week).  :D

Sci-Fi, Alien Invasion, Post-apocalyptic
website | Book Trailer | Twitter | FB

Offline Fogeydc

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2018, 09:05:09 AM »
related to games -- there are tons of books *about* them -- history, methodology, finer points, how-to, marketing, who's-who, etc etc etc -- that might be of interest.

Offline TwistedWisteria

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 07:16:48 AM »
I think it is worth remembering that 'reading' does not specifically have to refer to a book. How about getting them reading comics or magazines, age and interest appropriate? Or helping them find a book, author or series that really hooks them? Can you turn spend an afternoon or morning in one of those bookshop-come-cafes, and sharing a discussion or even a debate about a book or books in store? Make it fun, let them find something they relate to. At 16 and 17 as long as it is not illegal material (!) they should be allowed to read whatever takes their interest. Get them to write reviews on relevant websites and post them up for others to see and for them to gauge reaction. Is there a teen forum where youngsters can share reviews and opinions on books and literature for their age bracket, whether it is modern or not?

I know how hard it is, and I sympathise. As small children, my two were both book lovers. They also loved having books read to them. Whilst they read certain magazines and comics now, they rarely pick up an actual book. It is their choice of course and I know they are more than capable of enjoying the worlds contained within the pages, but as an avid reader myself I think it is sad. So many non-readers just don't know what they are missing!

Good luck!

Step inside, allow yourself to become So Lost in Words
S P Oldham | So Lost in Words | Facebook | twitter | Goodreads

Offline TwistedWisteria

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2018, 07:19:27 AM »
Here's an added thought: would they be interested in writing? If they find a subject that suits them, they may be surprised how absorbed they become. Starting a writing/reading related blog or a Tumblr page might work for them too, maybe?

Step inside, allow yourself to become So Lost in Words
S P Oldham | So Lost in Words | Facebook | twitter | Goodreads

Offline MLPMom

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
    • View Profile
    • My Guilty Obsession Book Reviews
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2018, 11:11:49 AM »
I have three children, two love to read and always have, one doesn't love it so much. What it comes down to is finding the right book that will make them want to read. My youngest just recently discovered A Wrinkle In Time and now she wants to read, something we use to "make" her do before.

Good luck with it, it can be a struggle but don't give up! Maybe try to find books based/in the same genre as the movies they like to watch or the games they like to play. There are actually quite a few books out there that center around gaming. Eve Silver writes a great series that is almost solely on gaming and is very action packed. I highly recommend checking her out, I think the first book is PUSH.
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.-Jane Austen
I also have a book blog where I review a new Indie Author every week. http://myguiltyobsession.blogspot.com/

Offline George Trigiris

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Gender: Male
  • Greece
  • Romance & Fantasy Ghostwriter Extraordinnaire
    • View Profile
Re: how to motivate kids to read?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2018, 06:23:28 AM »
IMHO, the best thing to do is find an area they are interested in.
Then, suggest something that's not too large or they might get bored at the idea of reading it.
Romance & Fantasy Ghostwriter Extraordinaire.

50 Books and counting. If you're looking to have an incredible book written, all you have to do is pm me.

Buy Scrivener for Windows or Mac