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Why Kids Hate Reading (& What to Do About It)


Does your child hate to read?

And do you feel pressure from the world to force him to like to read? 

I've been there, too. Both as a teacher and as a parent.

My approach isn't the usual drown-her-with-worksheets, -repeated readings, and -phonics drills method. 

No, I believe you can embed the essential reading skills once you've made reading fun.

Not only that, you must first understand why your child hates reading. It's kind of like figuring out why he has a stomach ache -- you can't treat it effectively without knowing the specific cause. Treating anxiety versus constipation, well, those have two totally different solutions.

Same with reading. You must find out why your child hates to read.

Is it . . . 

too boring - no reading issues per say, just doesn't like it (yet)?

too tricky - the brain's functions of learning to read aren't quite working smoothly?

too blurry - a vision issue is affecting reading?

too “sitty” - hates to sit still and focus?


In my new book, Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader, I elaborate on how to assess which reason(s) fits for your child. But it's something very important you can start to consider. Maybe you already know. 

When you know why your child hates to read, you can actually do something specifically for that reason. Lots of somethings in fact.

And, here's the good news, you can make learning to read fun. No joke. Here are a few examples.

5 Activities to Make Reading Fun

Scavenger Hunts
Go on letter, word, or sound scavenger hunts. Before you do, make the cards for your child to find and hide them around the house.
good for: too sitty, too boring, too tricky

Sight Word Hangman
Use sight words in a family hangman game.
good for: too tricky

Write Your Own Book
Make a sight word book or a short story book. Reading your their writing is very motivating for children.
good for: too boring, too blurry

Recorded Readings
Record yourself and your child reading in regular or silly voices. (Think robot, alien, fancy, loud talker.)
good for: too boring, too sitty

Max Out Your Library Card
We love to do this one. And I don't mind paying the fines, either. It's all for a good cause. Max out your library card and see how many of those books you can read. Picture books and non-fiction work best for this activity.
good for: too sitty, too boring, too tricky

See what I mean? The goal is to learn to read. How you do that can develop a love of reading, or not.

I say go with Book Love!