How do you get your future 3rd grader interested in reading more

Konsuelo - posted on 06/17/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I have done everything from buying captin under pants, comic books, hooked on phonics, reading out loud, etc. I still can't get him interested in picking up a book to read, just because he wants to. Maybe I'm just old school, because before computers, my sisters and I had a library of books, as do my boys, but only the pre-schooler is interested. Help!

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Patricia - posted on 06/22/2011

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Some kids are over-stimulated by electronic games/television to the point of not wanting to read b/c there are no visual or auditory aspects to it. Solution? If you have these things in the home, make one weekend (or more) per month tech-free: no t.v., games, music, etc. Then, that Fri. go to the local library and let the kids each pick out several books, and give each child lots of attention as he looks through the books individually.

Other ideas - audio books in the car instead of music (or movies/games). I used to do this & was amazed when my child regretted getting out of the car! Also, writing stories - my daughter is a great storyteller & likes to draw cartoons & write short stories. If your sons are into Anime (Naruto, Pokemon, etc.), this may be a great way to introduce the value of written words. There's nothing more exciting than drawing or tracing favorite characters are having them do things not already done! You can even "Pause" a favorite cartoon on the t.v., tape a piece of paper on the screen, and let your child trace the character, then have him write a story to go w/it!

Last but not least - KUDOS on reading to your boys! This is SO important! You could make a competition out of whose bed you sit on to read stories at night (books they will both enjoy). Or, assign stars for your 3rd grader, like teachers do, for how many books he reads and then provide a prize. Once he's 'in charge' of what he reads, he may become more interested. As well, it may just take the right book to spark the interest of your child - especially if it's one in a series. The only trick then will be finding additional books, which could also be a game. Once he's got the layout of the library or bookstore down, see if he can find the book he wants all by himself, then provide a prize, such as a really cool bookmark (we like the ones that look 3-D when you turn them from side to side). He could also make his own bookmarks to use, which may help.

Hope all this helps! Once my daughter discovered books, I was so proud to see her curled up w/a book in her room, or heavily engrossed in a book while riding in the car. It'll happen, but it may take some time!

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Shahnaz - posted on 06/22/2011

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Well for me it was the teacher that did the trick. She emphasised how proud she would be if her pupils would be great readers etc........Lameez really wanted to impress her teacher and so she started reading more and likes it now.

Sabrina - posted on 06/21/2011

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You might try your local library's summer reading program. For ours the kids get a prize for making their reading goals each week and they get to go to a swimming party if they meet all of their goals. They also get free tickets to a local baseball game at the end if they check in 6 weeks of met goals. For a 3rd grader the goal is 90 minutes a week. I have my son read 20 minutes a day. He is reading a Star Wars book that he is interested in. He also likes the Magic Treehouse series.

Gayle - posted on 06/20/2011

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@Konsuelo I know what loosing stuff at the grandparents is like from socks to toys it just all dissapears, my son is in grade 2 and has to do a reader (read 1 or 2 books at their level of reading) everynight for homework and they get to play games at school if they do it, so he loves reading even more now

Desiree - posted on 06/20/2011

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As an avid reader, I remember once upon a time you couldn't bribe me enough to sit down with a book! EW YUK!! But then one day, when the book fair came to our school I found something that I thought was interesting, and that was that. I suddenly couldn't find enough to read! Now that was me, and I am not your son :) Not everyone is dentined to be an avid reader. I have been with my husband for 15+ plus years and I have never once seen him pick up a novel to read for fun. He does, however, have lots of 4x4 magazines and manuals so I know that he knows how. :) As long as he (your son) is not struggling with reading then I would say that its fine and not something to worry over too much. On the other hand, you mentioned that he loves to draw, why dont you incourange that instead? Check out the library's summer reading program and then check out books on art, or even graphic novels ( although be careful as many are not suitable for children ) Often art goes alone with reading, so maybe focus on one and see if the other will follow. :) Just some suggestions :) Its my own experiance that you have to find that interest before you an force anything on someone.

Heather - posted on 06/20/2011

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As a teacher and avid reader, my son won't just pick up a book either. He does fine at school, but it doesn't interest him. He is also going into 3rd grade. I'm trying reading minutes = videogame minutes. We also have reading time over the summer. I'm nervous that making him read will make him hate it, but I'm exposing him to various genres and I hope something will spark his fancy!

Konsuelo - posted on 06/20/2011

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I will try all suggestions. @Gayle, I not only purchased the leap frog pen - he took it to his grandparents home, and it has not been seen since.

Gayle - posted on 06/19/2011

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I got my son zac power books and a leap frog that seemed to work the zac power book pack came with a little handheld game so he thought it was cool to read them, then he realised he liked them and is still reading

Karen - posted on 06/18/2011

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Tough question. I really don't remember how my 2nd grader got interested in reading. When he was younger I had a day job and even had to travel out of town a lot, so I wasn't able to dedicate a lot of time to reading books to him or encourage him.

I just allow him to watch a lot of Animal Planet and some Discovery and NatGeo shows that he really likes. And I think that sparked his to interest to learn more and he started browsing books about space and dinosaurs at the bookstore, and eventually asked me to buy him some.

If he could be around kids his age who love to read, that may help. I have a cousin who is about 10 months older than my son, she loves to read and I guess she somehow influenced him to read more. She introduced him to the Diary of A Wimpy Kid Series and he loves it!

And I think it also helped that as he is growing up, he sees me do a lot of reading during my spare time.

I hope this helps :)

Elizabeth - posted on 06/17/2011

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One of the downsides of school is that a teacher can't spend enough focus on someone who isn't getting something as quickly as everyone else. If I were your son, I would be frustrated and I might nor like reading because it was a problem. It is hard to have fun doing something if it is too hard. I recommend not focusing on where he should be and work with where is is now. Hopefully, the better he can read, the more he will want to read, and the more he reads, he will naturally start to gravitate towards more complicated books. Let him read books below his skill level too. It will reinforce the words he knows and will make those words much easier to read.


I had great fun reading and trying out the recipes in children's cook books. I don't know how good your library is, but there are all kinds of kid's cookbooks with varying levels of reading and varies levels of cooking. You might be able to find a book that has things he can make without your supervision. Something that would be at his current reading level. Also, you could find a cookbook a little more challenging that you would have to help him a little with the reading and the recipe. There are books on how to draw and craft books that you could do the same with.

Comic books are actually supposed to be really good at helping kids read (that had surprised me.) They pick up a variety of words but they don't feel like they are reading. Since he likes to draw, see if he wants to make a little comic book himself. He can tell you what words he wants and you can write them out for him so he knows how to spell them. Let him chose if he wants to write it on his comic or if he wants you to write it. His words will probably be above second grade reading. He'll be able to read it and will probably enjoy showing it to others. It doesn't even have to be a comic book. It can just be one picture with a few sentences. Don't worry about him doing the writing. The focus is on the reading right now.

Does he like jokes or riddles? He might enjoy those books.

You could also leave him little notes for him to find. If you are going to the pool, you could write a simple note and leave it on the table. Tell him that there is a note on the table for him and he will read "When you get ready, we will go to the pool."


Do you have a fun place to read? Maybe the family could set up a fort with sheets in the living room someday and you could pack a snack and go inside the fort. You could have him read a book that is easy for him, then you read one above his level and then the two of you read together. You help him when he gets stuck.

How often do you read aloud to him? When you read aloud, have him sit so he can see the page when you are reading. Move your finger under the words as you say them. (It takes practice)

Hope some of these suggestions will work for your little guy.

Konsuelo - posted on 06/17/2011

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Hi Elizabeth,
He likes to draw instead of look. He plays basketball, skateboard, and ride his bike. He's at a second grade reading level and I've been working to getting him to a third grade before school starts. He loves superheros, animals or ok, but not interested. My four year old is the truck/car lover. He's laid back, doesn't like conflict, but will defend his self if needed. As far a experimenting, unless it has to do with cooking, he's not interested. I hope this helps.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/17/2011

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I'm answering this with questions. I've read several books on how to get your kid to read (sorry don't remember the names.) I remember the concepts so if I have information on your child specifically, I can help you brainstorm to find something that works for him.
How often and what do you read to him? What does he like you to read?

What level of reading is he at? Too complicated or too simple of a book and kids will lose interest.

What interests does he have? Does he like cars, animals, dragons? What is his personality like? Is it go, go, go or is he quiet and reserved? Does he like to experiment a lot? Such as let's see what will happen if I pour a bottle of pop by an anthill or trying to set fire with a magnifying glass.

What physical activities does he like to do?

Would he rather look at a photo or a drawn picture?

That should be enough information to get us started.

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