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How do you get your kids to read more books and less computer games? Especially when they are not doing well with literacy at school?


Posted anonymously, 28th November 2016


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  • I would limit their use of the computer/laptop/tablet. Definitely not on school nights, and just an hour or so at weekends.
    Choose books that fit in with your kids interests. For example, if your child likes football, choose a fiction book about footy. There are a lot of fun books on the market these days that kids love, such as the Treehouse series by Jennings. Other series include Captain Underpants, the Diary of a wimpy kid. Not the greatest literature, but at least it gets the kids interested in books. Also, have a ritual each night before bed where u snuggle up together and you read a chapter of a book to the kids. U can also DVDs based on great kids books and after your child has read the book, u could have a family movie afternoon. The library has a lot of kids DVDs. Or as a motivator, once they have read two books (really read them!) you could have a little inexpensive family outing or an icecream treat…. Good luck. From an retired English teacher.


  • My 12 year old son likes factual books with pictures to help comprehend the text like the “100 most” series. As long as he is reading SOMETHING, Im happy.
    Books include “100 most amazing things” etc.


  • Another fun way to progress with books is to get the children to report back to you with a fun book report on a book they have read. They can dress up as one of the characters and even make a game about the book and characters. The options are endless for book activities. Start off with small books and progress to bigger books, it will seem less overwhelming.


  • All of the family going to the library together and talking about books and selecting books that suit them to read. Kids can enjoy a wide range of topics and encourage them to start with something they are interested in to start their love of books. Model for them too by turning off all technology and read when they are reading. Talk about books and engage in discussion and activities stemming from the books. Example – a book on mummies can lead on to a visit to a museum.


  • 1) Try not to link the reading with school. Being scrutinized, assessed, graded, compared with “average” in class etc. might put them off.
    2) Try and make it fun. Perhaps a game. No pressure. There are games like ‘silly sentences’ that can help with spelling and grammar and recognizing words. Mightbeother card games too and the school might have some to borrow.
    3) Since they have obviously got into ‘electronics’ maybe you can try and make that work for you. Use computer games to help with reading. There are programs that help teach sounds, letters, words, and even ‘read to’ the child highlighting words. And again maybe school has some software, or local library, they can recommend. While it is more screen time it might help.
    (We didn’t have any TV/computers for many years and the kids ended up with books and other games because that is all there was to do).


  • Take all electronics of them for a certain amount of time during the day. Read to them each night but get them to pick the book. Find some funny ones like, there’s a monster under my bed who farts, or who flung dung lol
    Muy kids are no allowed electronics after 6pm every night


  • How old are your kids? I always read to my daughter, since she was a baby. Every evening, my husband or I were reading together. And it went on till she was at least 10 years old. She always loved books. We always gifted her books, we went to the library every week. And now she’s still a big bookworm.
    Have you tried with different types of books? I knew one boy who wasn’t interested in reading at all, till his mother gave him some comics and some funny books like “Horrid Henry”.


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