I love reading. It's an activity that is enjoyable yet also relaxing for me. Lately, I'm either immersing myself into a fantastical setting or soaking up more knowledge about running my own business. Sometimes I feel unmotivated to read, though. Sometimes I'd rather watch T.V. or talk on the phone with a friend.
It's no wonder students sometimes struggle to read independently - there are so many other activities out there that can catch their attention instead! Students can play video games, do sports, access Netflix, get crafty, improve their ability to play a musical instrument, or create a new Tik Tok video, just to name a few. If I can lose motivation when it comes to independent reading, students certainly can too.
What should we do to motivate them, then? Here are 3 ideas :
Expose your student to different genres. Maybe your student doesn't read much because they don't know which genre they'll enjoy. Reading is an activity that is much easier to do when the reader is actually interested in the subject, so expose your student to everything from sci-fi to mystery, from fantasy to historical fiction, from autobiographies to poetry. Let them know they don't have to limit themselves to "the classics" or the types of books they read in school when reading on their own.
Consider allowing your student to read eBooks or listen to audiobooks. Sometimes students respond better to different formats for reading. Allow them to experiment to see which ones they might enjoy when reading on their own. A quick note about audiobooks: I would suggest limiting how often your student reads this way and only allowing this as an option after they have mastered their ability to read. Audiobooks will still help them learn vocabulary words, utilize comprehension strategies, and engage with a text, and it can definitely be a good way to encourage an auditory learner to read!
Lead by example! If you’re going to encourage your student to read independently, you should read independently too! Show them that reading is both important and enjoyable by making reading a priority for yourself. You can even set aside a time where the two of you read together but individually.
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