I asked Media Specialist, Jami O’Connor, how she responds to this kid complaint.
When a student tells me that they hate to read, I always ask them what it is about reading that they hate. A majority of the time it is because the student struggles with actual phonics of reading or vocabulary. They love to hear stories and look at the pictures but have a challenging time sounding out words or knowing their meaning. In cases like this, I always ask what their interests are. This is a great base to find a genre that the students enjoy and we can look for books in those genres that are interesting and start from there. All of our picture books and chapter books are sorted into the same genres so it can be easy to find a book they can enjoy. I offer to read the book with them and talk about the pictures and look at the words they may not know. One challenge is sometimes that really want to read a book that is too high for their reading ability and that adds to the frustration. I always read the harder books with them but also encourage a book that is more on their actual reading level. When they come back in to get a new book I make it a point to talk about the book they read and how they liked it. If they didn’t like it then we go on another hunt for a book they might enjoy but I always say that not all books you are going to love but once you find one you love, you will be hooked. A lot of book selection is trial and error. With a lot of persistence, we can almost always find books that even the most hesitant reader can enjoy.
Jami O’Connor is a Media Specialist (EdS. Media and I.T.) in Cobb County, GA.