As a natural lover of reading, one thing I had to rewire my brain about when I started working with kiddos is how some of them do not enjoy reading. They would rather stare at a wall than read for 20 minutes. When this topic is brought to me by teachers it is often connected with boys. Yes, there are many boys who enjoy reading, but historically teachers and parents have a more difficult time getting their boys excited about reading. I am a firm believer that there is a book out there for everyone and if you find the perfect fit for your students (boy or girl), it can be a game changer. Keep reading for tips and strategies to encourage boys to read more. And. . . these tips work for girls too.
Throughout the years, I have definitely discovered how reading isn’t every boy’s favorite pastime. In a world where screens captivate attention at every turn, nurturing the reading habit in boys has become crucial. It’s not just about ensuring they can read. It’s about guiding them toward a universe where stories come alive, characters become friends, and learning intertwines with enjoyment. We are going to explore books that promise to engage young minds and their interests, encouraging them to read more!
How to Encourage Boys to Read More
Be the Reading Role Model
Think about it – kids are like little sponges, absorbing everything they see around them. From the way you tie your shoelaces to how you react to situations, they’re observing and learning.
And guess what? This also applies to your reading habits. When they catch you flipping through pages with intrigue, you’re sending them a powerful message. Reading is something that adults find not only important but also enjoyable.
Imagine this scenario: You’re snuggled up in your favorite reading nook, lost in a world of words. One of your kiddos might wander over, curious about what has captured your attention. He sees your eyes light up as you turn the pages. He might even ask what the book is about. In that moment, you’re not just reading; you’re showing him that books are gateways to excitement, adventure, and new discoveries.
It doesn’t always have to be a classic novel or an intellectual masterpiece. If you’re perusing a cookbook to try a new recipe, browsing a magazine to catch up on current events, or even getting lost in a graphic novel, he’s witnessing the act of reading in various forms. This showcases that reading isn’t confined to a single genre or type of material.
They’re invitations for your kiddo to join you and read more books. And who knows, the next time you catch him with his nose buried in a book, you’ll know that the love for reading was ignited by the simple act of you showing your passion for it.
Encourage Boys to Read with Book Selection Freedom
Imagine this: a young reader stands before shelves loaded with books, scanning for the one that calls out to them.
When boys get to pick their own books, the reading journey becomes an adventure they can’t resist. Letting them choose isn’t just about reading; it’s about letting them be the captain of their literary ship.
Mysteries that make their hearts race, sci-fi that launches them into space, comics that tickle their funny bone – that’s where the magic lies.
Sometimes young readers or reluctant readers don’t know where to start when it comes to books. Staring at hundreds of books on a shelf can be very overwhelming. If this is the case offer some guidance. You don’t have to pick the book for them but can instead help to narrow down the choices.
Asking questions like “What is your favorite TV show?”, “What is your favorite movie?”, and “What are your favorite toys?”, can all give you a glimpse into things they like. Use their answers to help narrow down the library to an area that would interest them. A young reader who likes playing with LEGOs and watching superhero shows would probably love a book more adventurous in nature. Whereas a kiddo who loves watching Mythbusters and Bill Nye might find his love of reading in the nonfiction section.
These are their paths to exploring, imagining, and embracing stories that will encourage boys to read more.
Family Reading Time to Encourage Boys to Read More
It’s that special time of day when everyone grabs their favorite books, settles in, and lets the stories take over. You’re off on your adventures, but there’s this wonderful sense of togetherness.
It’s not just about words on pages; it’s about weaving connections.
This cozy tradition isn’t just another item on the family checklist. It’s a time when laughter, learning, and bonding blend together.
As pages turn, so does the magic of shared experiences. From kids giggling at funny parts to adults lost in captivating plots, you’re creating memories that say, “Hey, reading’s not just for school; it’s our thing.”
Encourage families to start reading aloud at home, as a family by giving them some tips and ideas. Let parents know that kids’ listening levels are higher than their reading level so an at home read-aloud can include more than picture books.
Sharing some specific books with families is a great way to help them get started. You might share a list of award winners or nominees, books with different themes, or books that connect to the current season. And. . . don’t forget about some of the great series out there that can take the entire family on an adventure.
You could even make this a school-wide mission. Choose a book, have a kick-off party, encourage families to read it aloud together, and then finish with a “book club” or activity that relates to the book. You could choose one book a quarter and build a community of family readers. Not only will this encourage boys to read more, but it will have the same effect on the girls in your school too!
Explore Various Reading Formats
Sure, traditional books are like old friends you can always count on, but let’s not forget – there’s a whole bookish universe out there waiting to be explored! Audiobooks?
They’re like stories putting on a show, complete with voices and sound effects. Graphic novels? They blend art and words into a dynamic duo of awesomeness. And e-books? Well, they’re like paperbacks’ tech-savvy cousins.
So, why stick to just one flavor when you can have a book buffet? Having different formats to explore for the best fit will help boys to read more. Audiobooks let boys soak in stories while doing other stuff – like saving the galaxy during chores. Graphic novels turn reading into an art appreciation class with plot twists. And e-books? They’re like having a library in your pocket.
By letting boys wander through these formats, you’re turning reading into an exploration. It’s like giving them a treasure map and saying, “Hey, there’s more than one way to enjoy a good story.” So, go ahead and let their curiosity run wild.
Set Achievable Goals
When it comes to reading, little triumphs can make a huge difference for young readers. That’s where achievable goals come in.
Think of them as mini quests on the path to becoming reading champions.
Picture this: a young reader sets a goal – maybe finishing a chapter before bedtime. It’s not climbing Mount Everest, but it’s a challenge that’s totally doable.
And when they achieve it? It’s a confidence boost, a fist-pump moment that says, “Hey, I can totally rock this reading thing.”
It’s not about the size of the goal; it’s about the thrill of reaching it. Maybe it’s reading for 10 minutes straight without getting distracted by that fly on the wall. Or maybe it’s reading a page without stumbling over those tricky words. Each victory, big or small, becomes a brick in the reading fort they’re building as they read more.
As these little victories stack up, so does their reading habit. Before you know it, they’re flipping through books like champs, setting and smashing goals with glee. Turning pages is cool, but turning them with a sense of accomplishment? That’s the real page-turner.
Encourage Book Talks
So, you know how conversations can start with, “Hey, did you see that movie?” Why not make books the stars of your chats?
Talking about what you’re reading is a great, approachable way to encourage the boys in your life to read more!
Imagine this: your kiddo’s eyes light up as he tells you about this character, who’s basically a ninja detective. You’re intrigued, right?
Engaging boys in conversations about their books isn’t just about “How was school?” It’s more like, “Tell me about the world you just stepped into.”
Asking them about their favorite characters is like asking them to introduce you to their new friends. When they share what they love about the story, you’re getting a front-row seat to their imagination.
Suddenly, reading isn’t a solo escape, but a team sport. So, don’t just nod and smile – dive into their bookish world. You’ll be surprised how those conversations spark giggles, debates, and maybe even a few “No way, that happened to me too!” moments.
Book Recommendations to Encourage Boys to Read More
Remember, the key is to match the book to the individual interests and reading level of each of your boys. Whether it’s fantastical adventures, laugh-out-loud humor, or thought-provoking stories, there’s a book out there for every young reader to dive into and enjoy! Below are just some of my recommendations.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
Join Percy, a demigod and son of Poseidon, as he battles mythological monsters and uncovers his divine heritage.
With a mix of humor, adventure, and ancient Greek lore, this series is a thrilling ride through a world of gods and monsters.
You can also get the entire set including The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
Greg Heffley’s hilarious escapades and relatable middle school experiences are chronicled in this series. Through Greg’s witty diary entries, boys will find themselves laughing while navigating the ups and downs of growing up.
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
In a post-apocalyptic world, Thomas wakes up in a mysterious maze with no memory and must work with a group of teens to escape. Filled with suspense, mysteries, and unexpected twists, this series is a roller-coaster ride of survival and discovery.
Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey
Join the crime-fighting adventures of Dog Man, a half-dog, half-human hero, in this graphic novel series.
With clever humor, engaging stories, and playful artwork, these books are perfect for boys who enjoy action-packed and visually appealing reads.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Through the eyes of Auggie Pullman, a boy with a facial difference, this heartwarming story explores themes of kindness, empathy, and acceptance.
Boys will be moved by Auggie’s journey to find his place in the world and discover the power of true friendship.
If you’re interested in more books that may encourage boys to read more, check out my post about:
The Adventure Awaits!
There’s a realm for every young adventurer, a tale for every curious mind. By letting boys choose their reading paths, turning pages into family traditions, and celebrating even the tiniest reading wins, we’re opening doors to a universe of imagination, learning, and unforgettable experiences.
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