Using Hobbies to Encourage Young Readers

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Trying to get a child to read and actually enjoy it can be one of the most frustrating things when it comes to teaching a child. This is especially true for those parents and teachers who love to read. It is hard to understand why the child does not love to pick up a book and savor what it offers on all those pages. Do not be discouraged. Reading can be encouraged just by learning what your child loves.

When it comes to your favorite pastime or hobby, you usually will read and listen about it for hours. It is a passion of ours. It all makes sense. The same is true for children. They have passions too. Why not appeal to that? Reading needs to be something they want to do and that can easily be done through their hobbies. What does your child love to do or have a passion for? What is their hobby? Use that as a way to introduce the fun of reading to your child.

Does your child like to fish? Give them a fishing magazine. They might start out looking at only the vivid pictures, but before long they will be discussing the newest lure or some new hot fishing spot that they discovered when they began to read the articles. Even funny stories such as One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (I Can Read It All by Myself) by Dr. Seuss will have children wanting to read out loud and giggle over the rhymes. Find the books on fish they will enjoy.

Do horses get your child all excited. Get them a book on horses. Start with the books that are more encyclopedia in style that describes the various types of horses. They will begin to read the captions and want to know more. Before long you can lead them to books such as Black Beauty or King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian. The more they discover the books with their beloved horses the more they’ll be willing to crack open a book.

Is your child interested in cooking? Get them their very own cookbook. There are so many out there directly written for children. They will enjoy reading how to create yummy cookies to share with the family and at the same time will be practicing their math skills. They will not be so eager to run from a book if it contains something they enjoy making.

Are dinosaurs your child’s thing? Many kids love them. There are probably hundreds if not thousands of books on dinosaurs. Start with ones that are abundant in pictures and work your way to those that have more and more reading material. If they really love dinosaurs, they will begin to want to read more about them instead of just looking at pictures of them. There are even magazines featuring the ancient creatures.

So many kids love jokes. Instead of trying to get little Johnny to read something that he has no interest in, give him a joke book. He will spend hours reading these jokes out loud. Before you know it, he will not be stumbling over the words and will be reading with confidence. It is a perfect introduction into the world of books.

Books are not always what we presume them to be. Yes, there are books that are short and some that are thousands of pages with nearly as many chapters within them. Then there are those that most book lovers do not even think of as books — the comics and the graphic novels.

Yes, these are books. They are just books with the narrative revealed in pictures. That’s the only difference and could be vital in getting your child to read. Many children are terrified of the endless sea of words most books present. Their reading abilities might not be as strong as they could be. They might also be highly visual and respond better to the pictures than they do to just words. That means if you are wanting them to read more, you have to include these books in your arsenal.

Check out the number of books in these genres. You’d be surprised to find even classical literature represented in graphic novels. Introduce your child to a world of wonder just by opening your own mind to what constitutes a book.

Remember that the object of getting a child to read is to make reading fun. Do not dismiss a calendar, a magazine, street signs, board games, or anything else that catches your child’s eye. Even though it might not seem like the reading material you were hoping your child would be enjoying, it is a step in the direction of loving to read. Reading can be fun. Help your child learn how much fun it can be.

Written by

Writer for ten years, lover of education, and degrees in business, history, and English. Striving to become a Renassiance woman.

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