How to Help Older Children Choose Reading Material - Red Apple ReadingWould your child rather visit the dentist than pick up a book? It can be challenging for parents to find reading material that captures their children’s attention – especially older children!

I have four kids and their reading interests are as varied as their personalities! My youngest is a question generator. He enjoys non-fiction books that get to the bottom of his inquiries. My 11 year old has trouble completing chapter books but loves comic book style reads such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. My 14 year old loves fantasy and historical fiction while my 17 year old enjoys the dystopic genre of books.

All kids are different, and with a little effort you can help yours discover enjoyable reading material. Red Apple Reading has a few suggestions to get you started!

1) Interest Inventory – The first and easiest suggestion for helping your kiddo find reading material is to simply think of things that interest her. This suggestion may seem a bit obvious; but sometimes it’s easy to overlook the answer that is “staring us in the face”. If your kid would rather watch WWE than read a book, find all the books you can about the wrestling profession. Yes, there are plenty out there! Maybe your child enjoys playing with Legos. Guess what? There are several books available featuring Lego characters as well as Lego history.

2) Be a Benevolent Dictator – If you really have a hankering that your kiddo would enjoy a particular book if he gave it a chance, then try instituting a “three chapter rule”. Tell your reluctant reader that he must read three chapters of the book. If he still doesn’t like it, then let him put it away. He may discover that the story had a slow start but eventually “hooked” him!

3) Survey Says… – One of the best ways to help your older child find material she would like to read is to ask friends for recommendations. Next time you are with a group of parents, ask them what their kiddos are currently reading. There’s a good chance that someone has unearthed a gem of a book that you and your child haven’t discovered yet!

4) Think Outside the Book – If you’re having trouble finding any book your kid will read, then it’s time to “think outside the book”! There is a variety of reading material available that isn’t in “book form”. Magazines, newspapers, blogs, and graphic novels are all great reading resources!

5) Challenge Accepted! – Many kids find a good challenge to be inspiring. Think about how you can turn reading into a fun competition. For instance, you could challenge your child to read one book from each of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal system. Or you could see how many books he could read from the Banned and Challenged Classics list. Be sure to offer an incentive to spice up the offer!

 Don’t grow weary of encouraging your child to read! Although it may be challenging to find the right reading material for your kiddo, your persistence will eventually pay off. Reading is a gift that will yield rewards far into their future! If you want to learn more about how Red Apple Reading helps kids become successful readers then check out our website. Our online program provides serious learning that’s seriously fun!