How do you encourage older children to read?

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Most parents have struggled with the task of getting their children, particularly those approaching their teens, to continue reading once they have grasped the basics of phonics, vocabulary and literacy. Why then should you encourage older kids to read and how can you do this without confrontation?

Parents need to reinforce positive reading habits – irrespective of their child’s age

As children grow into young inquisitive adults, most become less interested and excited about reading. This normally coincides with them completing their school reading scheme perhaps, or believing that they are accomplished readers that no longer need to read on a regular basis. This is backed up by the latest research that confirms boys, in particular, are less likely to grab a novel and read it by personal choice!

This is a great shame as reading develops the mind and it also the vocabulary; it aids understanding of different subjects and topics and promotes learning at a new level. It can help children across the ages to learn about different people, times and places, and to experience new and exciting fictitious worlds. Reading develops the inner creative imagination too as it takes the reader to places that they may not have come across.

Reading and writing are the building blocks of life – and you need both of them

Reading is a wonderful skill and it’s something that benefits readers of all ages – young and old alike. So just how can you get older children to do it? AISPP (Australian International School Phnom Penh) share their top tips:

  1. Put your phone down
  2. Ensure you read in front of your children – whether that’s a book, magazine or on an electronic device as this reinforces reading as a positive (and regular) habit
  3. Give books or a book token as a present
  4. Encourage children to carry a book around with them – and to read it whenever they are bored or need something to do
  5. Encourage children to swap books with their friends – this makes it an acceptable thing to do
  6. Read together – kids are never too old to listen to a good story with you
  7. Get children to browse through the shelves of their school library - or visit a local library together

Older children need to understand that reading is actually a pleasurable thing to do rather than just something that they have to do in school – and that’s a habit that they need to learn from you and your family at home.

AISPP, an Australian Co-ed IB International K-12 school (Phnom Penh), is fast becoming one of the Kingdom of Cambodia’s leading education providers. Providing a modern Australian private and independent education, its 21st Century philosophy, state-of-the-art facilities and world-class teaching standards, make it ideally placed to prepare children for the global challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Talk to us on t: +855 92 111 136, email: [email protected].