1. Get physical
Boys enjoy being active. Encourage boys to read more by acting out stories that you have read, retell a story using puppets, practise role play where each family member has a role in the story. Use your imagination to incorporate physical activity into reading.
2. Find a positive male role model
Fathers, grandfathers, friends, uncles and brothers can all play their part by letting younger boys see them reading. It doesn’t matter if it’s the newspaper, a magazine or a book. Boys will copy this behaviour and in turn will become more confident in their own reading. Find out more about our Reading Lab, which involves some of our older students being reading partners for the younger boys.
3. Praise, praise, praise
Boys thrive on praise. When he reads well, be sure to give him encouragement and try to be specific about the praise you are giving. There will be mistakes; make it clear that if he makes a mistake whilst reading, he is not a failure; remind him that we learn from our mistakes.
4. Routine reading
If your child likes routine and structure; try building reading into that routine. Set aside a regular time to read with boys. That way he will come to expect to be read with at a certain time. Providing opportunities and expectations for silent reading at home are also likely to encourage more reading. Reading before going to sleep is a great time way to get boys into reading – not only does it encourage routine but also helps them wind down and relax before they go to sleep.
5. Read with your children
Carry on reading with boys once they can read themselves; some boys can switch off from reading once they know the basics. Keep talking about the story and the plot, make sure they have understood it. Many boys will enjoy being read to well beyond their early years. Most children enjoy having an element of control and book choice is an excellent area to let children have some freedom.
6. Start a book club
Discussing books is a wonderful way to nurture a love of stories. Support your child in starting discussions around books. We celebrated World Book Day at school recently and wrote some fabulous book reviews, some of which are on display in the library and some will be read out in assembly. We’ll also be introducing the Children’s Book Award where boys can read the latest publications and vote on their favourites, and we’ll be holding a pop-up book fair in May.
7. Use an interest
If they’re into a particular sport or hobby, find a book that includes it. In the Aldwickbury school library there are displays which highlight particular themes that the boys may be interested in and suggest new books to them. If your child doesn’t like to read books, think of other ways he can enjoy the written word: magazines, poetry, joke books, comics, games instructions, letters, road signs, shopping lists. This will encourage reading, improve vocabulary and hopefully will lead on to wanting to read for pleasure.