I've worked with kids of all ages.  Typically kids think that they are getting bored with reading around 4th-5th grade.  If your child is a struggling reader, then this may happen earlier (more like 3rd grade).  We are dealing with two distinct groups of kids in this blog post - kids who are simply apathetic readers (but are proficient) and kids who claim to be apathetic readers because they are actually struggling readers.

First for the apathetic readers who are proficient... Have you tried every trick in the book?  You've bribed, you've threatened, you've begged and pleaded?  Kids will claim that they, "don't like to read."  However, I like to argue that they just don't like what they are reading.  Those are two different statements.  Most newspapers and magazines are actually written at a 4th grade reading level. Find out what you child would WANT to read and offer to get him/her a subscription to a magazine of his/her choice (of course, it must be age appropriate also).  When the magazine comes in, they get to read it if they have all of their school reading done.  Make sure to go to your local library or bookstore with a magazine section and check out the magazine to make sure it fits within your parameters of acceptable.  Here are some ideas:
Sports - ESPN magazine, NFL magazine, Sports Illustrated (for kids)
Girlie Stuff - American Girl Magazine, Discovery Girls Magazine
Animals/Nature:  National Geographic, National Geographic for kids, Ranger Rick, Zoobooks
Once your child sees that he/she likes the magazine then he/she can't say, "I don't like to read".  Instead he/she can say, "I don't like WHAT I'm reading."  However, learning to read the stuff you have to read is part of life.  Finding something your child will read as a reward is such a benefit because then your child won't be an apathetic reader forever!

Now, if your child is claiming that he/she is an apathetic reader, but you know that your child is struggling, then you need to get your child help right away!  Ask around if there is a good reading tutor at your school (sometimes teachers will do some before or after-school tutoring).  You also want to make sure that you are reading at home.  Find out your child's reading level and let him/her pick out a book that he/she would like to read at home.  Make sure to set aside time to read TOGETHER.  Stay tuned tomorrow for more specific tips of HOW to read together to help your child achieve reading.  If you are interested in my "reading tree" model, then click here for the blog post from September 6, 2011.

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