My 10 year old son finds reading boring..

Deepti - posted on 10/07/2010 ( 54 moms have responded )

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My 10 year old is otherwise smart, academically doing well but he just will not read.I read a lot to him as a child. He doesnt play videogames a lot but prefers outdoor activities to sitting down with a book no matter how good it is. How can I get him to develop an interest for reading without forcing him ( which will make it all the more unappealing). I strongly believe it's his disinterest in reading that is limiting his vocabulary and thereby affecting his language and ability to communicate effectively.I personally love to read but I know he has his own likes and dislikes. How can I get him to read on his own?

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Dara - posted on 10/08/2010

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What is he interested in? I had a really reluctant reader in one of my grade 8 english classes and I found that if I gave him a book centered around something he loved to do then he would actually read it. He loved skateboarding, so I got him Tony Hawk's biography. He thought it was fantastic. Just see if you can find books that are on subjects he's really into, and see if that motivates him a little more. Some kids just don't like reading, and as long as they are doing well in other areas I don't find that to be too much of a problem, but I understand your concern. What about graphic novels? Some of them are fantastic.

Mary - posted on 10/11/2010

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From my experience, boys prefer to read books that most people do not consider "real reading." I just went to a workshop on how to get boys to read - and it was fascinating. Most boys don''t read because they see very few men reading because men who read - hide when they read... or have the caveman mentality. Where do most men read? In the bathroom! Seriously. More teachers are females so they do not get to see men reading at school either. Try books that are "how to" books. Boys like to FIX things. Reading manuals, instructions, are all considered reading. If he likes the "manga" or graphic novels - let him read them. Also, boys like GROSS things - they like burps, farts, creeping girls out....etc... And, boys do not read for long periods of time. Boys can usually handle (tops) 15 minutes at a time. What does he like to do outside? Does he like animals? Does he like to collect frogs? If you would like I could make a few suggestions (titles) once you narrow down some of the stuff he likes to do....

Dara - posted on 10/08/2010

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PS - You actually do expand your vocabulary and communication skills by reading. Literacy rates are dangerously low in North America, and it is partially because we don't encourage our kids to read enough. I wouldn't be a nazi about it or anything, but it is important. Incredibly important.

Sylvia - posted on 10/09/2010

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Will he read comic books? graphic novels? People often scoff at those, but reading is reading! My 8-year-old reads tons of comics, but that hasn't stopped her from reading huge fat chapter books, either. In fact, her reading improved by leaps and bounds the summer after Grade 1, when we threw out the list of sight words her teacher sent home and she got into comics in a big way, and has continued leaping and bounding ever since.

How about magazines? Would he like a subscription to a magazine about some activity or subject that interests him?

What kinds of outdoor activities does he like? Sports? Nature and science stuff? Exploring and having adventures? There are books about all those things -- he just may not have realized this yet.

You're right that trying to force him to read more is a bad way to go, and frankly, in that way I think you're a lot smarter than a lot of parents. I saw an awful, awful thing at a book fair DD and I went to a couple of weeks ago: a little boy picked up a book from a display of beautiful picture books -- I was reading one of them at the time, and it was excellent! -- and his dad told him to put it back because he was too big for picture books now. He looked about six. :(

He may never love reading the way you do. Some people don't. But it's not a bad thing to encourage him!

Shahnaz - posted on 10/08/2010

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Hi, i think reading is rather important. It broadens ones knowledge and puts u at the top of your game.

I do have a suggestion. I have for my daughter something called "readers for leaders" as well as something called "CAMI Reading".

Its computer software that is excellent. Its development for kids from grade 0 to grade 12 here in South Africa. It has built in comprehension passages as well as tests to measure your reading accuracy and speed as well as your understanding of the content.

It can be personalised to suit what your child is learning at school. I put in content based on their theme at school. I edit the tests according to the words they will be tested on for the week etc.

They get to play games like hangman based on their weeks words etc. Basically it comes with age appropriate comprehension passages/stories as well as diff level tests. You as a parent get to check their test results etc.

It would even tell u which areas your kids lacks in too.
The CAMI one comes with a maths package too which is fabulous.

I hope i have helped:)

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Sarah - posted on 03/27/2013

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A nice way to connect home reading and school is to find more fun ways to approach topics he's learning in school. If he's learning about historical figures, find a book with a silly approach to that historical figure. There are a bunch out there. Alan Katz's Lieography of Babe Ruth is a silly take on someone he might have learned about in school.

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First I posted a video on my Facebook page @coach2accomplish that will make you want to read to him. Secondly I found out that when I made a list of all the topics my kids were interested in they were coming to me for reading time. Let me know how it goes.

Kelli - posted on 11/22/2011

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Sorry your boy is struggling to connect with reading -- I think this website could be a great source of support and suggestions. Check it out: http://www.gettingboystoread.com/

Check this out also: http://www.improve-education.org/id76.ht...

There is a reading list suggestion for reluctant boy readers -- suggests some like Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley's Believe It or Not -- not necessarily academic but books like these could get his juices flowing... perhaps he might find a special interest in one of the entries and go on to find more books about a particular sport or event... Let me know how things progress for you guys. Good luck!

Deborah - posted on 11/18/2011

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As an elementary school librarian I really, really encourage kids to read!

I agree with others that you and he need to find something that he is interested in for him to read. Magazines, biographies, etc...



Ask him what interests him, find a genre that he likes and see if he might like it on audio. That might spark his interest in a story enough for him to pick up the actual book. It will also develop his vocabulary as well.



I found with my daughter that her aversion to reading was because she didn't understand some of the more advanced words and thereby wasn't understanding the story in its entirety. As soon as I gave her a dictionary and explained that I would also be available for her to sit next to me while I read and would define words for her as she went along she really dove into reading headfirst.

Trina - posted on 11/09/2011

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I have been having the same problem with my ten year old son I made him get an accelerated reader chapter book and he has to read for 30 min or one chapter then i will read one chapter it is working a little better than threatening him for 2 weeks I kept telling him go to the library and get a book I went there and found he is interested in spooky books so I talked to the librarian and asked her to help him with picking out a good book he has takes initiative to read some because the book gets good at points to see what happens it is just getting through the first initial boring parts

Bobbie - posted on 10/30/2010

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My kid checks 2 copies of a book out from the library and we read the book together. She reads out loud to me and it really helps to see what words she is struggling with. She has told me that she likes doing this because then we can discus what has been read together.

Holly - posted on 10/24/2010

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Listening to books does help them develop reading skills. They become familiar with the vocabulary. Kids love to be read to by their parents and this is a great way to stay close and keep those bonds tight which helps discourage rebellion in teenagers.

Jade - posted on 10/22/2010

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I just introduced my 10 year old son to audiobooks of the same titles he's reading. You might try it. They have the Harry Potter series, the C.S. Lewis books, the Percy Jackson series, etc. It seems to at least get him started

Lorrie - posted on 10/22/2010

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It may sound strange, but my son at 8 started to play an on-linegame called Wizards 101. Because he wanted to do well in the game, he needed to read the quests. He now reads diligently and his vocabulary has blossomed. Also Wizards 101 has a free membership and is a family type game. It might be worth a try.

Suzie - posted on 10/21/2010

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I agree with some of the other readers....comics, magazines, etc. What ever works and is age appropriate. I would also look into seeing if he has a reading comprehension problem. Don't just leave it alone because it could cause other problems for him in the future. Some people believe reading is over rated but it is not. It is in every part of learning. If he can't read well then he won't do well in other subjects. He can over come by reading. Good luck.

Suzanne - posted on 10/21/2010

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i don't think it is anything to worry about i hated reading untill i was 17- 18 then i found a book that i fell in love with and now i enjoy it very much he will eventually come across something he will love too. if he likes to wright try getting him to wright storries then have him read them to you that will help figure out what kind of story he may enjoy which would help pick a book that may be the first one he enjoys

Mary - posted on 10/20/2010

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Hank the Cow Dog is a popular series ... we loved it when the kids were in 3-5th grades. It's easy reading and it's funny! I used to read them on car trips and my husband wouldn't let me stop!! !Go figure!!LOL

Holly - posted on 10/20/2010

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My daughter had a similar problem. Get your son's eyes checked. Ask at the school or at your Dr. for an eye Dr. that checks for muscle weekness and dyslexia etc. My daughter had week muscles which caused the words to jump after a couple of minutes reading. We did eye exercises. Then we discovered she also has a mild dysexia. Now she not only loves to read, but has a BA in English Lit, and a MA in lingustics. She is finishing her Doctorate now. It can be difficult to find books boys want to read. I recommend Revenge of the Dorkoids- Amazon. It has lots of pranks between 2 groups of boys.

Kristin - posted on 10/20/2010

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I also wanted to add that I understand completely about libraries and the availabilities of such. When I was in elementary school-so many years ago-our school did not have a library. In 5th grade, we had to do a book report a week, so that required us going to the public library. I had already read my way through the children's section. My mom wrote a note to the head librarian, telling her that I could read the "grown up" books. I did a report on "Gone with the Wind"-the teacher called my mom up at work, and told her I was a pathological liar, as no 5th grader could possibly read that book. My mom calmly told her to ask me anything about the book and to then call her back to apologize for calling her daughter a liar. Needless to say, my mom got her apology! WIth both my daughters, I always had a set bedtime, but that time could be extended for 1/2 hour to an hour, but only if they read.

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I have an 8 year old son who also does not like to read. I tried getting him fun story books - but recently learned that he would much rather read the sports page in the paper (with help) or books about frogs. Have you tried bringing home Sports Illustrated for Kids? Our library has those for check-out. Find out his interests and go with it. He may be interested in history (unlike me - I'd never pick those books) or Guiness Book of World Records (my son loves those). Think outside the box :-) Start by leaving several interesting books on the kitchen table for breakfast and see what he picks up. Start letting him become interested instead of "sitting down" for 20 minutes reading together. Hope that helps.

Kristin - posted on 10/20/2010

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If he loves the outdoors, find books about that subject. Also-make specific reading times for him. I was lucky in that both of my daughters-now ages 27 and 10 loved to read from the onset. My whole family are voracious readers. And it has been proven that a lack of reading DOES affect one's language and vocabulary skills. Buy him a gift card to Barnes and Noble and let him take his time in the kids' department. Reading does help with communication skills. I'm a Girl Scout leader, and those that are readers, communicate better within the troop and away from the troop. Good luck!

Tamsin - posted on 10/20/2010

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My son is nearly 9 and we still read together on a night before he goes to sleep. We choose books that he's either studying at school or anything football related (he's football mad) and I read one page and he reads the next, and we alternate. It's the only time he sits still long enough to read antying, but i think because we share the reading he doesn't feel like it's a chore - hope that helps!

Leigh - posted on 10/19/2010

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I sooooo feel your pain. Although my son is almost 9, we have had the same struggles. I just made a deal with his teacher that if he reads 20-30 minutes, I send in a slip of paper with my sig on it naming the book and how long he read. She gives his "money" which is exchanged for treasure box items. That has created a little excitement. We've tried having him keep a long of what he reads and we'll give him a prize once he reaches a goal (this hasn't really worked for our son though...maybe yours?) Mu husband works from home in the basement and at the same time each day after school, our son now knows to grab his book and go downstairs to read for 30 minutes four days a week. At first, he resisted but now he just does it. Good luck. I know how frustrating this is.

Janet - posted on 10/18/2010

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It's important to make reading fun and not a chore. Present it in a positive way. Letting him pick out the books that are of interest to him. Let him read scary stories using a flashlight. Make a reading night where everyone in the house turns off all electronics and reads (take turns reading outloud). See some books for boys and ideas for making reading fun http://www.cjkidz.com/Books.html

Anna-Marie - posted on 10/18/2010

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Reading is an important skill to learn, especially if you want them to go to University and get a good job later on. When they go to University they have to do research every day which requires a lot of reading & writing. I have two boys that both love reading, because reading can be found anywhere! I get my boys to read street signs when we are driving places, reading shop signs, when we go shopping they check what's on sale, my older son loves reading boy magazines which have the latest computer games, comic stories, etc, at the moment they are both reading all the junk mail we get to see what they want for Christmas & writing it all down on their list. If he likes sports & games get him to make up a game & write down the rules. Get some plays from school or the library & act them out (my kids love billy goats gruff & the 3 little pigs, they know them off by heart now from doing it so many times!). When you are baking or cooking get him to read out the ingredients & the instructions to you, (my boys love doing that!). Ask questions about everything, eg, if you are about to watch a DVD, you can ask things like "Which one says Play?" And don't press it until he answers right, then they think their helping you. There's also board games which are great for lots of things. My older son has a simple Monopoly game called "Pirateopoly", every time someone gets a card he reads it for them because he thinks he's helping, again he's not thinking about the fact that he's reading it. Good luck!

Sabrina - posted on 10/18/2010

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My 9 yr old was the same way and then Harry Potter came out.. she reads alot now. Maybe interest him in Camping, Wilderness or outdoor activity books!

Deepti - posted on 10/18/2010

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Sherri..i hear you, but sometimes it does affect writing skills to some degree.

Deepti - posted on 10/17/2010

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Thanks to all for the wonderful tips. My son's school has a book fair going on and he says he's found a few books on gross jokes and other topics which apparently are what boys love, so whatever floats his boat...as long as he's taking an interest in the written word :)
The one thing I find lacking in Dubai is the availability of good public libraries where there are reading programmes for kids.The only places where they do that are the fancy international schools that are way too pricey. I am trying to improve his vocab by introducing two new words a day that can easily be incorporated into everyday sentences, hope that helps! Although English is not our mother tongue, it is the language we communicate and think in ( and he is learning 4 others- Arabic and French which are compulsory in school and 2 other Indian languages which we speak- no writing/reading -at home), I think he has enough on his plate.

Caroline - posted on 10/16/2010

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Both my kids are into sports as well. My older one couldn't be bothered reading so I would pick him up comic books and leave them beside his bed, in the vehicle and at the lake. He started picking them up and reading for 5 min here and there. At 17, he still enjoys his comics, but he's graduated to novels and biographies on his own, and even heads to the public library to get the latest books.

Becky - posted on 10/16/2010

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The Ricky Ricotta books and other graphic novels really appeal to young readers too. There are so many novels that have been converted to graphic novels now. Boys seem to really love these.

Kim - posted on 10/15/2010

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Get him the Wimpy kid books. My son wasn't that interested in books either until my Mother got him those. Then he read the Stink books. Both over and over again. I have been finding him other books, which is hard, that he likes. But try those they may get him into reading.

Cookie - posted on 10/15/2010

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I allow my son to read in places other than home. For example the beach, park or a quiet corner in Mickey D's proved favorable. It is a special treat when the book is relevant to the enviorment. The child can then play in the park or beach that was just read about in the book. Also use rewards when your son finishes a book and able to give a synopsis of it.

Becky - posted on 10/15/2010

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Encourage him to read anything and everything: blogs of interest to him, magazines, there is a website called kidsreads with lots of suggestions for books for boys. You might try making bedtime a time for the two of you to share a favorite book from your childhood or maybe one his teacher reccommends for boys with his interests. If he is a sports lover try books by Mike Lupica or Matt Christopher adventure lovers might read books by Gary Paulsen or Jean Craighead George. He should be independently reading books at or just below his reading level, you could read aloud to him books that are just a little above his level. Bookstores are wonderful places to find a clerk to suggest a book to him, libraries too. Keep trying it is worth it!

Di - posted on 10/15/2010

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What about comics? Or magazine articles about bikes (or wherever his interest lay) Some kids (and adults) only read for information- if there is a purpose. You're so lucky he likes the great outdoors! Enjoy it with him. xx

Melissa - posted on 10/15/2010

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We very much encourage reading in our house. My two oldest boys are required to read for a certain amount of time every night. Their required reading has to be a chapter book (their choice), but they can (and are encouraged) to read whatever they want otherwise. My husband has always been a huge comic book fan and has in turn introduced them to our boys. While some might say they are not optimum reading stimulii, they are actually quite involved in their story lines. At the end of the day reading is reading regardless of what form it comes in. It is the best way to reinforce vocabulary and to encourage new vocabulary. When my boys ask me about a certain subject our first response is always, "Let's find a book or article that talks about it." This also encourages them to not only read but how to do research. Do they complain sometimes? Sure, but at the end of the day it's my job as a parent to encourage reading at home. Good luck!

Shannon - posted on 10/14/2010

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Well i let my sons who hate to read i let them pick some comic books and racing books all the stuff they love to know about like monster trucks and it helps but not always i find that most boys are the same. You can also get him to look something up for you on the computer and read it out to you while you are trying to do something else but you will still be able to here him or just get him to tell you what he found out about the information you were looking for i try to get my boys to do that. then they don't think about reading they just think they are helping you with something

Melissa - posted on 10/14/2010

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My Daughter hates reading too. I have found if she goes to the Library with babysitter she enjoys it much better. My daughter plays softball and rather be outside as well, but she only enjoys books about people and there lifes..

Cherie - posted on 10/13/2010

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Try "graphic" novels. They look like a comic book with lots of pictures but have rich text as well. Boys seem to flock to them especially. Once you get him hooked on an author or book series, that could do the trick. Ask a school librarian to point you in the right direction.

Lori - posted on 10/12/2010

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I think you may have it reversed. Kids don't like to do things that are hard or they think they are bad at. Talk to his teachers. If his vocabulary is limited and affecting his language and ability to communicate, it could be there is something else going on. He won't tell you, because he may think he is the only one or ashamed he is having trouble. If all is ok, and I hope it is then, get him a subscription to an outdoor magazine. "Boys Life" is a magazine my boy scout gets. It is great! It has true stories of boys his age doing real outdoor stuff. My 11 year old daugther even reads it. Its www.boyslife.org. From the website:
"owen de great says:
August 29, 2010 at 7:45 am
hi all! please subscribe to the boys life magazine! its full of adventure, contests, games, comics, and even more!"

Julie - posted on 10/12/2010

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Find out what he likes and find books on the subject matter to increase the attraction...make a point chart; if he reads a book he'll get so many points then by the end of the month say he gets 25 cents per point etc....

Angie - posted on 10/12/2010

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It doesn't matter what he reads, as long as he reads. He can read comic books, magazines or the back of cereal boxes - it doesn't matter. Your son has not found a series of books he likes yet but keep trying and he'll find something he likes. My 9 year old daughter like Geronimo Stilton books which are part comic book part "regular" book.

Tan - posted on 10/11/2010

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Thanks for the tips ladies, my now 12 year old son never liked readingeither and I do believe it caused him to suffer in language comprehension class at school. I will continue to coax him with your ideas. Avid reading is a good habit to aquire.

Mary - posted on 10/11/2010

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It is a very big deal to get kids interesting in reading at a very early age. But you also have to remember that boys and girls brains develop differently and at a different paces. By the age of 11 a girl's brain is developed; meaning the right side and the left side are communicating With boys this doesn't happen until they are (on average) 14 and by that time we may have lost them forever. Notice, too, how boys can't sit still when they read. They tap their pencils, they play with their hair - they do something to stimulate and get both sides of the brain communicating. Once the brain is fired they can read. Try books on tape too! Once a child gets involved in a plot a few times - they often have more of an interest reading on their own!

Amie - posted on 10/10/2010

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I found that middle school boys love to read car magazines. They often stare at the cars and drool but eventually they end up reading an article about the engine or how it was crafted.
You said he likes outside stuff try National Geographic then find books about outside adventures (Magic Tree House books have a history lesson and a bit of mystery and are easy reads)
Do partner reading you read a paragraph he reads a paragraph or switch every other page.

Michelle - posted on 10/10/2010

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Is that he doesn't like to read or does he struggle with reading. My son absolutely hated reading until this past summer, he struggled with reading and therefore couldn't read the types of books that interest him so figured why bothered I persisted with him and now he loves books. My step daughter also hates reading however with her the problem was dislexia which we did not know about so she struggled in silence for a long time.

Candy - posted on 10/10/2010

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Find books that a 10 year old boy would like. Science,body stuff i.e. farts,underwear. etc. He has to be inertested in it to read it.I bet if you found what he liked in a book he would read it. Some of us have to really like something to want to read about it.

Farrah - posted on 10/10/2010

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I went through this with my two older boys. I am an avid reader, reading all the time in front of my boys, and they still refused to read. So my solution was to find things that they would want to read. Magazines are a great way to interest them to read, plus the articles are usually short, which also helps with getting "bored" with reading. There are so many magazines out there, you can usually find more than one that will catch their attention. Age appropriate comic books are also an option. My thought are that its not just the quality of he reading material that counts, its about getting them to read something, anything!!!!!!!!

SiewYean - posted on 10/08/2010

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I can understand how you feel. I agree with you that reading is important for kids to learn and pick up knowledge and communication skills. My boy is 8 and he does not like to read too. I find it quite common for most boys. Some of my friends realize that this "dislikes" just outgrown one day.
Thought my boy does not like to read by himself, I still try to read to him before his bedtime. Be persistent on reading to him, if needed. You may want to consider the reading material that interest him. Reading does not necessary mean reading a book. It can be a kid's magazine, comic he likes, a short article to arouse his interest in a topic etc...You may want to get some tips here http://www.kids-activities-learning-game...

Kristin - posted on 10/08/2010

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First, get the MEN in his life to read around him. He needs to SEE other men reading and it doesn't matter what they are reading. These men do not have to be family, they can be teachers, councilors, clergy, etc..



He can read to the family pet if he likes too. There are reading programs through libraries that have dogs come in and kids practice their reading by reading to them.



Encourage him to read what he likes for 10 minutes a couple of times a day. This could be a comic book or a section of encyclopedia; it's ALL good. Sit down and read yourself at the same time. Then take a little extra time and talk about what you each read; content, likes, dislikes, what you want to know more about, what you think is going to happen next.



You can only guide him into reading and what it can do for him. And remember, most 10 year olds find reading boring. This may just be a phase for him. Be patient and encouraging. Good luck.

Sherri - posted on 10/07/2010

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WHO CARES?? Honestly it isn't that big of a deal. He is either going to be an avid reader or hate it. Just like some people love soccer, baseball, football etc and others despise it. You can not force him to like to read. It just isn't a big deal!! The more you force the issue the more he is going to hate it that much more. Leave him alone he is perfectly FINE!! Your son not liking to read has NOTHING to do with his language. I love to read so does my oldest son. My middle son wouldn't pick up a book if you paid him too.

You do not get language and ability to communicate skills from reading!! Plus speaking to people you can not tell by speaking to them who is an avid reader and who doesn't pick up a book. Relax your son doesn't need to read avidly, he will be fine!!

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