Boys don’t read. How many times have you heard that? It’s an accepted notion that compared to girls that most boys don’t read. According to Boys Read, the problem isn’t that boys don’t read it is that they won’t read for several reasons. For instance, during the important reading development stage in elementary school, most boys find themselves forced to read books with female characters and as a result find it hard to relate to the story or the character.
Helping your son, grandson, nephew or favorite boy discover the joys of reading might be a daunting task, but it is possible. One can convince boys to read by simply encouraging the very act of reading itself and promoting reading and literacy.
What to read
Reading happens all around us and boys are magnets for information, knowledge and learning.
Although boys tend to enjoy nonfiction over fiction, they still enjoy fiction just as much as girls do. Fiction encompasses several genres from contemporary to science fiction as well as in different forms, novels and short stories. In recent years, graphic novels and illustrated novels have rocketed in popularity. And don’t forget poetry, boys love poetry.
Remember that reading should not be limited to just books. Boys might enjoy reading a wide variety of reading material including, but not limited to comics, comic books, magazines, internet stories and video game guides.
Does your boy love movies, televisions shows, cartoons and video games? Check out the source material, many movies such as the “Harry Potter” series, the “X-Men” films and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy are based on books. In addition to reading the book that inspired the movie, a boy can read the screenplay of the movie. Other movies, cartoons, and television shows offer plenty of tie-in books. Video games also offer plenty of reading sources from previews and reviews to game walkthroughs. And remember reading the subtitles or captions counts as reading.
Boys tend to get hooked on a story and/or subject and will devour everything they can get their hands on.
Promote reading and literacy
1. Set an example by being a reader yourself.
2. Read to your kids. Make it a daily ritual.
3. Start a monthly version of Drop Everything and Read Day (D.E.A.R.) Take a weekend afternoon and spend it curled up with a book. Take a few minutes at the end to talk to each other about what you have read and even swap books for next month.
4. Have your own family book club/reading group. Find a book that the whole family can read and discuss. Encourage your children to write short reports about the book. Tell your children that book reports are not just limited to written book reports, but can be a skit, a video or a diorama.
5. Make a contest out of reading. See who can read the most pages or the most books within various milestones; a week, a month or over summer vacation. Make it interesting by offering an award or prize such as control of the remote on family movie night or their favorite dessert.