What is an easy way to motivate a 1st grader to read?

Teaching a child to read has many challenges, one of the biggest ones being - how do you teach a child to want to read? What are some ways you can help motivate a 1st grader to read?

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12  Answers

5 0

My son started the year at the bottom end of the reading spectrum. It was a chore to get him to read, almost a punishment. Then I realized this ultimate truth. My son LOVES chess, LOVES Dominoes and loves math workbooks because it was a game.

The answer to your question is it depends on his level... but you have to make it FUN! My husband works a lot and one of the things I did was have him leave a note for my son everyday. A silly, fun note, and my son would look forward to reading the note every morning before school. Silly treasure hunt type games with notes and clues that have little treasures at the end (a sea shell, or a cool looking top). Get books that interest him that you can read to him about. For example, what really propelled my son forward (he is in 2nd grade now) is his love of arthropods (bugs, crustaceans, spiders etc) and reptiles. He would want me to read EVERYTHING about them. Soon, I had him read a couple of words here, a sentence here. We would read together. In fact, the first chapter book he was motivated to read was a book about serpents.

He needs to see you love to read for pleasure too. We have reading nights where the whole family reads (and if someone laughs, or oohs or ahhs, everyone asks interestedly what they are reading about). Ask yourself do you like to read? If he sees you reaching for books at your free moments (not that you likely have many) then he will subconsciously elevate the status of reading in his mind.

Also, you have make reading and writing successes as exciting as getting a goal at soccer practice. I told my husband once, he gets more excited about my son's soccer practice than his minor milestones in reading. Children pick up on these cues. If you're distracted when they are reading to you and completely focused when they are telling you about soccer practice (I had to have a talk with my husband about this) they are going to subconsciously know that daddy thinks soccer is more important than reading.

Find epic books you read to him that he can enjoy. We have read to our 7 year old Tales of Despereaux, Chronicles of Narnia, the Wizard of Oz, the Little Prince, the Alchemist. Ask him critical thinking questions. Ask him what he thinks will come next. Ask him what he would do if he was in the character's position. As him to close his eyes after a descriptive passage and imagine what it looks/smells like. This helps him to realize the wonder of the worlds that are created in books and eventually, when he's ready, he will pick up whole books like Harry Potter and lock himself into a room to figure out what comes next!

Most importantly, DON'T push it. If you make it unfun, he will not want to read and he will come to see reading as a chore. You want him to LOVE it so be patient with him AND yourself. GOOD LUCK! I know it's hard, but he will get there...I never thought my son would, and he did.

3 1

Amazing post!

8 31

Thank u!! I'm having a few issues with my oldest son, who is in 1st grade. He worked with the school's reading specialist for about 6 weeks, and his skills have significantly improved. He still acts like reading is a job or a chore tho, even tho he is much better at it. Going to try these suggestions. Something that we have tried and it helps (a little) is to have his dad read to him. This way he sees another male reading and realizes that u can be "tough" and still curl up with a good book and have fun!!

40 0

Thank you so much for your reply. I've been dealing with these same issues with my little girl! She known how much I enjoy reading, but I'm still working on getting her motivated.

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1 14

I would read to him & do exercises on the computer (The Reader Rabbit series). I found that the exercises didn't work. The site words just didn't help him learn how to read. I kept trying but he didn't remember the words when he saw them in sentences. One day, he said, "Mommy, I'm ready to read now." I couldn't believe he actually told me that! From then on, I bought phonics workbooks. He was reading books in one in a half months.
The workbooks had a continuing theme (Spectrum Phonics/series by Mercer Mayer). Remember, these books were a lot of fun. That's the key: the books have to be FUN!

0 0

Get them books they are interested in. For example, Captain Underpants is a favourite in my house, so I make a rule that I read a page, they read a page. My one son is just entering Grade 1 and reads at a Grade 2 level.

2 7

My daughter had no problem reading in school when she was a 1st grader, in fact, she was a year ahead of the rest of her class. The summer before she went into kindergarten, I taught her the sign language alphabet. Every night before bed, we would play a game we call "Finger Letters" in which I would spell a word in sign language and she would write it down and then read the word. If she had trouble reading the word correctly, I would give her clues about the word. Little did she know she was translating and it helped her practice writing her letters. Then we would switch and she would spell words in sign language and I would write down the word (and pretend like I didn't know how to read the word and she would help me sound it out).

She will be a second grader this fall and this summer we are playing Hangman every night, which also helps helps her reading skills but it's also helping her spelling at the same time. I think using games like this without using books makes reading fun. But when we do read together, we alternate pages or sometimes even words!

3 20

Love the Hangman idea. I think we will try that one out. We have also used Scrabble. My first grader loves the fact that she can read chapter books. They do always see me take a book everywhere I go.

2 34

We have "reading time". If your kids see you read, they will want to read too, if they never see you read and you only watch tv, thats why that is what they want to do. Have a "reading time" and everyone sit and read, when they see you enjoying a book they will want to also :)

0 0

i know im suppose to answer but first i want an answer my granddaughter at 16 wants to come to live with me and her grandpa and i don't know if it is legal she is in a bad invirornment with her mom and dad and wants to stay here and i don't know she is talking of running away and i want to help her but dont know if i can and as for how to teach a child to want to read is to read to them yourself for one every night before they go to bed and make it funny and intertaining and go thru the motions of what the characters are doing in the book as you read

1 0

the best thing is give them book like carton books or anything in which they are interested,


19 22

We've been homeschooling since my daughter was in K. The curriculum we use has a lot of Readers and Read-Alouds, and we've been thoroughly enjoying reading together. I think the key to motivate your child to read is to make the reading interesting by using different voices and reading clearly. Drama. My daughter used to imitate me by reading out loud on her own. :)

6 0

Read to your child as often as you can. do shared reading- he reads a part, then you read a part. get her her own librabry card, or buy a kindle for her. let him see you reading-and enjoying it! make sure reading is NOT a chore, but something enjoyable, exciting and fun. dont force it, but show interest when he is reading. hope these tips help!

0 0

For Me It is the METHOD to get them started, then follow up with abundant reading material at home, visit libraries and book sales, book fairs! For my daughters I used the phonics method to get them to read and both are readers till this day. For my students now, I encourage them with the Fitzroy Reading Method which is superb for children with different learning abilities too!

4 19

I have twins boy/girl in prep this yr... last thing we do each night is our word chart which is able to be viewed while laying in bed, my sons latest word is 'extraordinary' he loves learning & reading so much i dnt think his brain every switches off sounding words lol... his sister not as interested. I use LOTS of encouragement... making it a FUN activity with lots of PRAISE, taking their time & talking about the illustrations in the book. Not making it work that has to be done... more like the fun part of the evening. Lives are so rushed at the moment with cooking dinner/ work/ cleaning... that can all wait while the fun part of the night takes over READING !!!!~ patience;)

245 5

My daughter loved more when I read to her so we started off alternating pages. Then it was about finding her interests. Some of it was deciding that she could pick 2 books and mom would pick one for her to read over a week. That allowed her to read new series and discover they were ok.
In this way she discovered Abby Hayes and Geronimo Stilton books were acceptable fiction.

3 2

My daughter loves to read and is an advanced reader for her age. You have had some excellent advise. Here is what works for us. My daughter watches me read a lot and I am sure that this inspires her to become an independent reader. My daughter has a school book to read every night. Getting the timing right is vital. If she is too tired it becomes a chore. I give her a lot if praise, and let her know how much I love to listen to her reading. We also do shared reading, I read a page, she reads a page. We discuss the story, pictures etc to make it more exciting. We have lots of CD's in the car that have story books. She can listen to the story and read/look at the book at the same time. We go to the library regularly and she loves bringing home new books to read. You just need to find out what motivates your child and to build their confidence.

3 10

I HIGHLY recommend the Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease! I read aloud chapter books constantly (listening comprehension is much greater than reading comprehension) for example I just read -My Father's Dragon- and - James and the Giant Peach-, my boys are 4 and 5 and excellent readers. We have a word of the day. Every morning at breakfast we learn a new word and I always have a white board handy to easily and quickly write down any new words etc.. We do crossword puzzles, word searches and hangman. They have reading lights in their rooms and are allowed to stay up an extra 15 minutes IF they read. I take books with me everywhere so if we are waiting in line or whatever we whip out a book! Also, I don't allow television, maybe one hour a month but because I never put it on they are not really interested in it. Hope this helps!

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