Motivate Boys to Read More and Love It

If you are like me, you wish to see your child reading, enjoying and even loving reading books on his own more and more. This is exactly what has been happening with Super Hero these last few months, and we’re so delighted about it.

I was actually kind of puzzled by his not-so-eager-about-reading attitude. I have been reading to him ever since he was born and I don’t think more than 5 or 6 nights have gone by without us indulging in our bedtime reading routine. He loves me reading to him and he absolutely looks forward to it every night. This is a major factor why he spontaneously started to read by age 4. We also make weekly visits to the Library and aside from a few gaps here and there, we’ve followed this schedule pretty regularly. Super Hero always picks his books in a variety of reading levels and I collect several read alouds as well. His reading level was also very high: late 2nd or early 3rd grade level depending on the source, when we started Kindergarten/homeschool last September. Still, his attitude toward reading remained lukewarm.

I made up my mind to find a reading-inspiration solution and turn lukewarm into red-hot interest. I was very reluctant to sign up for the reading incentive program at the Library or others that pop up during the summer. I do not believe in rewards and punishments. And I specially do not believe in making pizza or zoo tickets the prize for reading. I’m all for finding the intrinsic joys of reading and let reading be its own reward. I figured some kids might just need a little help or guidance in finding those inherent rewards. And I’m happy to report that this is true 🙂

All a child needs is to ignite a love of reading is matching his interest to the right book. That’s all. I know it sounds easy and it is, but how do you match a child’s interest to a the dizzying array of books available in the library, bookstores, iPad, kindle?   To start, I followed the advice of Donalyn Miller, author of “The Book Whisperer”:

  • Offer stacks and stacks of books that might interest the child and let him choose
  • Don’t require him to finish a book if he doesn’t like it, he can freely abandon the book at anytime
  • Start with lighter books or books that might not be the epitome of good literature, but will entice the child just the same, then build from there

I scoured the web looking for books that I thought Super Hero might enjoy, and I found several phenomenal resources that I’m happy to share with you:

There are 3 library cards in our family and all of them are permanently maxed out with 50 books each. I checkout a fair share of books for myself (20 to 30 at a time), but other than, all the other books are juicy choices for Super Hero. And the very best part of it is, he’s really reading. He still picks his own books when we go to the library but the bulk of the books come from the stacks and stacks I reserve for him from my research and lists I’ve put together or discovered

On a follow-up post, I will go into the details of the genres and specific books and series he’s so enjoying. I hope they’ll make good choices for your own boys as well. And if you have any tips or would like to share some good books, please go ahead. I will very much appreciate them 🙂

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