Josh Langley

Reluctant readers and what to do

I see a lot of parents worried that their kids don’t show any interest in reading, especially boys.

I say don’t stress.

There seems to be a big expectation that kids should be reading as early as possible, which I feel doesn’t allow for a child’s natural learning pace and curiosity to guide them.

I was one of those boys who didn’t take a big interest in reading when I was young. I even forged my mum’s signature on the reading homework that we were forced to do. But over time, I eventually started to read things that interested me. Firstly, a small wonderfully illustrated joke book given to me by my grandma and from there I progressed to Blinky Bill and others. Now I write books for a living!

The thing is, you never know when a kid is ready to pick up a book.

In my late teens, my dad gave me a Bruce Chatwin photography book and I thought it was the lamest thing ever. Years later I picked it up and loved it.

Have books at the ready

It’s important to have books readily available for kids to read.

And there are so many different types of books these days covering every subject you can think of.

  • Manga
  • Comics
  • Graphic novels
  • Picture books
  • Chapter books
  • Middle grade
  • Young adult
  • Sports books

Give books as gifts, start building up a library and have books lying around so they can be easily picked up and read. Ask at your local bookshop what’s good for different ages and interests. (Hopefully they recommend my books!)

Take them to the library regularly. I remember when I got my first library card, it was like I had to the key to world!

So, if a kid is taking their time in showing interesting in reading, don’t stress they’ll eventually do it in their own way, in their own time.

In the meantime, check out the video series Reading for the Heart and Mind.

NB: Obviously if they’re having actual trouble reading, then check in with their teacher or a professional.

Josh Langley | Inspiring Kids

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