For years, boys have trailed behind girls in reading and reading comprehension. School teachers have catered more to girls in the classroom when it comes to the kind of books they require for reading assignments. Libraries are not “boy friendly”, as they require quietness, when boys are all but quiet. Boys would rather “act out” scenes and discuss things rather than sit quietly and read. As a result, boys do not read as much as they should and they don’t have a love for books that girls do.
Is there anyway we can turn this all around and get boys to love books? Yes, there is, and here are some tips on how to do just that:
Stock up on books geared towards boys:
Boys can enjoy reading but, they are unlikely to love reading if all that’s available are books geared towards girls. Look for books that contain jokes, comic books, books about sports and books with alien creatures as characters. Boys have interests in these areas and are more likely to read books geared towards their interests.
Boys also love bodily sounds and functions, called “grossology”. There are a series of books that tell a story related to these bodily functions, such as farts and other bodily odors and sounds. Allow your boys to read these kinds of books, even if you don’t agree with them. The key is to get boys to start reading. If they can read something that’s fun and interesting to them, you won’t be able to get them to stop.
Start reading early:
Start reading to your boys when they are still in the womb or are babies. Boys who grow up with their parents reading to them regularly are more likely to love books than boys who have not been read to. Bedtime is a great time to make a routine out of reading, although reading anytime of the day can be beneficial.
Take your son to the library:
The library has the largest selection of books available. Boys can look at the books to see what they are about and even read them right at the library. Allow your boy child to borrow books that provide interest to them.
Most libraries even have story time that children enjoy, even boys. The storyteller is usually quite animated with their reading. This helps boys “get into” the story more so than if it was just straight, bland reading.
Do not force your son to read:
Forcing a boy to read will only make him want to read even less. Keep books geared towards boys available and allow him to read on his own time. Books should be kept out where your son can see them while he is watching T.V. or playing on the computer. If he is doing these activities and sees an interesting book nearby, he is more likely to let curiosity get the best of him and pick up the book. Maybe he will even read it.
Let dad tell the bedtime stories:
Mom’s are generally the parent who tells the bedtime stories. This is how it has been for many years. If you want your son to love books, show him that dad also loves books. Have dad read the bedtime stories several times a week. This will show your son that it is not only girls who enjoy reading, but boys do too.
While you are reading a book to your son, try to be as animated as you can. Make the same “noises” that the characters might make. Show your excitement and surprise throughout the story. Ask questions before the book answers them. Boys enjoy action and adventure, especially if you “act” it out while reading.
Turn off the television and video games:
Boys spend much of the time while at home watching television or playing video games. Limiting these activities or turning them off completely may leave a bored son that may turn to reading to fill that boredom. A suggestion to read when they say “I’m bored” can put the idea to read into their head. Make a direct suggestion when you see boredom or it is voiced, re: “maybe you can read the comic in today newspaper, I found them very funny”.
By instilling the about recommendations, you will be able to get boys to read more books and even enjoy the books that they read. It’s not that boys don’t love books, it’s that they don’t love the books that teachers and parents feels they should be reading. Allowing them to read a more adventurous series of books that involve their interest may just be the thing to get them to love books.