Because one of my New Year’s resolutions is to do a better job of encouraging my sons to read, I asked my colleague, Mary Gauthier, who is something of an expert on boys’ learning, for advice. She gave me 7 good suggestions:
1) Make sure your boy transfers from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” This usually happens anywhere between late grade one to late grade 3 (and no — it has nothing to do with ability)…. Allow the reading process to unfold. If you feel your boys is struggling, try some books on tape where he can follow the text. Nothing is more frustrating for a boy (and nothing makes a boy hate reading more) than reading books that are too difficult.
2) Read to your son!!! When he starts reading on his own…still read to him. Read a book together (take turns reading pages..if the book is not too difficult for him.)
3) Help your son develop his “inner ” voice when reading. (This is for younger boys). Many non readers are non readers because they have not developed an inner voice. Asking questions such as: “Why do you think his mother said that?” “What do you think will happen next?” or “Were there any hints that this would happen?”or even…ask your son to ask you a question!
4) Find other reading models in your family!!! Is there an uncle or nephew or family friend who can share books with your son?
5) Boys do like fiction but look at different genres..ie graphic novels (don’t knock them till you have tried them!)
6) Limit TV and Tech
7) Take your son to the library and let him pick out his own books.
If you have other suggestions, please send them along. Thanks!