How do you get kids to read? Reading was never a problem for me – I always found it to be a very fun and enjoyable activity. It was easy for me to find books that I wanted to read. But what about those kids who can’t find books that are of interest to them? Boys, especially, struggle with this. How can parents find books that their boys will enjoy? As an educator, I’ve been asked this question a lot and this is what I’ve found.
In order to get kids to read, you have to make reading fun for them and find books that hold their attention. I found a couple of great websites containing lists of valuable resources: guysread.com and readkiddoread.com.
Why might boys have trouble with reading? Guysread.com has this to say: “biologically, boys are slower to develop than girls and often struggle with reading and writing skills early on. The action-oriented competitive learning style of many boys works against them when learning to read and write. Many books boys are asked to read don’t appeal to them. They aren’t motivated to want to read. As a society, we teach boys to suppress feelings. Boys aren’t practiced and often don’t feel comfortable exploring the emotions and feelings found in fiction. Boys don’t have enough positive male role models for literacy. Because the majority of adults involved in kids reading are women, boys might not see reading a s a masculine activity.”
There are a few things we need to do to help boys be successful. We need to draw attention to boys’ literacy. GUYS READ is our chance to do that. We need to include humour, comics, graphic novels, magazines, websites, audiobooks and newspapers in school reading and give them a choice about what they read. We need to encourage male role models of literacy. And we also need to be realistic and start small.
Guysread.com contains a list of books on topics such as: cars, trucks, sports, outer space, how to build stuff, robots, boxers, wrestlers, ultimate fighters, scary, action/adventure, animals and explosions, just to name a few. Readkiddoread.com also contains lists of books of various levels and interests. These lists include: great family reads, great picture books, great transitional books, great pageturners and great advanced reads.
If you have trouble finding books for boys, these two websites are a great place to start.