Friday, April 29, 2011

Motivating teenagers to read

Jumbo Editorial Team

Teens can become reluctant readers. Since the majority of the reading they do is for school they tend to relax afterwards. Another cause may be that they are struggling with reading at the level of their peers. Often this leads them to take a defensive position and they declare reading is stupid, no fun, or boring.

The parents can help by encouraging independent reading. Independent reading is motivating because it is about choosing subject matter of interest to the reader, in this case, the teen. This is the reading we all do for our own enjoyment and entertainment.

Instead of pressing for reading at a particular grade-level, let this reading be at whatever level the teen feels comfortable. The point here is to reinforce success and create a feeling of confidence. The teen will naturally seek more difficult material as he or she grows more comfortable and confident.

In order to keep a teen motivated to read, scheduling a weekly trip to the library is a great idea. Obtain library cards for each teen. Let them choose any material they would like to look at for the next week. Be open to CD's, DVD's, tapes, magazines, or books. When there is no pressure to pick a particular type of material, teens feel able to pick something of interest and at a level they are willing to tackle for enjoyment. Remember you want to develop a lifelong reader.

Encourage your teen to join a book club. Many libraries and some schools have book clubs specifically for teens. Teens enjoy interacting with other teens and they get to share books of interest to them. Get them a driver's manual as most teens are looking forward to being able to drive. Get a driver's manual and have them study to take their driver's test. If they are having trouble reading the manual, help them through it.

Develop a personal library for them. Encourage your teen to develop a library of favorite books. In addition to purchasing new books, they can add books to their collection through yard sale purchases, used bookstores, and library sales. Gift your teen with a magazine subscription. Choose a magazine which covers a topic your teen is interested in - cars, wildlife, movies, or anime. Another closely related approach is to let them sign up for an e-mail newsletter or ezine.

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