20 minutes a dayMar 11, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
As a 9th grade English teacher, I am faced with many students who do not like to read. I can't stress how important it is for kids to start reading early on so that by the time they reach 9th grade, they are at least proficient readers. However, I am highly aware that many kids don't become proficient readers by the 9th grade. In fact, an open hostility to reading at this level is more prevalent at this age.
I could give you many strategies to encourage younger children to read. These strategies have been mentioned in other people's epinions. Read to your children often. Read yourself so that your children see that adults read for pleasure. Take trips to the library with your kids. Make books a treat for well-behaved children (instead of candy). Etc, etc.
But what do you do with a teen who doesn't like to read? How do you encourage him or her to read for pleasure? Well, many of the same strategies for younger children also apply to teens.
I find that it is most important to get kids reading. They should be encouraged to read anything that interests them. I know parents want to restrict some of the material that kids read, but doing this can really turn kids off to reading. I think it is better to allow students to read what they want and discuss it with them intelligently than to flat out forbid them from reading it. Let them come to their own conclusions as to what is worth reading and what is trash.
I think that setting a time for teens to read for about 20 minutes each day is very beneficial. For slower readers this is enough time to read about a chapter. Although older kids don't really have a set bed-time usually, parents might want to encourage them to go to bed early and read before they go to sleep. Some parents have their students get their homework done before bed. I can't stress enough that homework should be done much earlier. Students who stress and rush to finish homework late at night will not learn as well and will be more tired in the morning. Instead, reading before bed relaxes students and also promotes better learning in all subjects. Students who read frequently are better students all around.
So, for parents of teens who don't like to read, I suggest changing routine a little bit. Allow your teen to pick a book he or she is interested in and then encourage a set reading time. Discuss the book with your student. In fact, you might just want to get a copy yourself so you can discuss what you think of the book. I can't promise success out of this, but what I have noticed in my classroom where I require 20 minutes of reading each day, many of my students balk at the forced reading at first, but by the end of the 1st semester, if I were to take away the reading time, most of my students would revolt. It just takes a little time to build proficient readers.
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