Keep your boys reading

From the Crowther Centre

The latest research suggests that boys’ reading engagement has dropped over the past 10 years and that boys are less motivated to read and report enjoying reading less than in the past.

This is problematic because reading has so many academic and wellbeing benefits. Young readers need support and it is important in the busyness of our lives, that we consciously provide the space and time needed for our boys to succeed as readers.

What parents can do at home to encourage reading:

  • Create and maintain reading routines
    Good readers make reading a habit. Many families have bedtime reading routines when their children are young, but these tend to drop off when children begin to be able to read independently. Having a routine where everyone (even you!) reads before bed is both conducive to good sleep, as well as habit forming.

  • Protect reading time
    While technology is a fact of life, it takes up time and interrupts focus. Create some agreed tech-free times for reading (before bed is a good time).

  • Make reading a pleasure
    The research is clear; when we enjoy reading, we read more. Create positive associations around reading by reading to or with your children (even when they are older). Talk about the books you read, share your experiences of reading with your children. Never use reading as a ‘punishment’.

  • Show you value reading
    Display your books; the visible presence of adult books in the home is a key measure of academic achievement for children. Read where the children can see you. Spend time going to libraries or bookshops. Read your children’s set texts for English. Join a book club.

  • Reward reading
    While research suggests that intrinsic motivation is more important than extrinsic motivation, it is important to acknowledge and affirm your children as readers.

Kristen Molloy
Associate Head of the Crowther Centre, Literacy and Engagement

Brought to you by The Crowther Centre