Anyone have a reluctant reader in their house?
My first child was a whiz of a reader. He soaked it up like no other and wanted to spend almost ALL his time reading. As a mom, I don’t think I could have been happier. Then comes along child 2 and 3 and the story changed a little bit. It’s not that they HATED to read, it was just difficult for me to capture their attention enough to even read TO them (forget about the actual teaching).
A friend suggested a simple idea to foster their love for reading, she said this was especially helpful with her son—- Read Magazines!
To be honest, I always have thought of magazines as being “fluff”. My shallow celebrity gossip pool side read….and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just didn’t see how People Magazine would help my kids’ love for reading. Ha. (No, my kids don’t read People. Just to clarify.) . Our in house book expert, Kristen, says:
“Whether it be picture books, graphic novels, or short stories in a magazine, the goal is to get a child to imagine, to learn, to enjoy or to do something!”
When I started looking into it, I found magazines were indeed, excellent sources for the reluctant reader. A 1992 NAEP survey (Foertsch, 1992, in Allington, 2001) found that “the only group of fourth graders who achieved reading performances above the national average were those who indicated that they regularly read story books, informational books, and magazines”
So, here are some top, very basic, reasons magazines are a great way to assist your reluctant reader. Many of these reasons can be sourced HERE:
- Magazines link reading material to the things that interest the students. Most Magazines focus on a specific topic; ie, sports, animals, travel, science etc. If a child has an interest, magazines allow them to focus in and learn every aspect of that topic.
- Magazines provide structure. “Non-fiction text, especially, provides a number of supports for the struggling reader: headings and subheadings, graphics and illustrations, introductions, and summaries.” Basically, it’s a little easier to view all of this variation on a page than just words on a page. Kids respond to this structure well.
- Magazines are shorter. Instead of having to sit and read for an hour straight, kids can read shorter paragraphs of text and quickly jump to a new article or piece. This can assist kids with shorter attention spans as well.
- Magazines offer sense of accomplishment, Due in part, to the length of magazines, young readers can often finish an entire article. This completion provides such sense of accomplishment. In addition, readers can quite often retain many of the facts offered from this non fiction reading. This helps with reading comprehension. So often, after a good magazine, my son will talk for hours to me with sentences that start like this, “Did you know….”
- Magazines lead to more in depth reading of specific topics. Real life example. My son read a magazine article about Abraham Lincoln. He was fascinated about this Civil War involved, assassinated president! So much, in fact, he begged me to go to the library and find him more information about Honest Abe. I was so happy!
We want to assist you in helping your reluctant readers! This is an app we use in our own homes and thought it might prove useful for you as well. It’s complete access to 100’s of magazines – perfect for kiddos and special interests (and some for mom’s poolside reading too of course). The app is called TEXTURE and it’s awesome!
I prefer accessing my magazines digitally through Texture because:
1) I don’t have to carry around 430780 paper magazines. Good for the environment AND good for my sanity. It’s easy to carry around reading material on road trips or while waiting at the doctor’s office.
2) It’s cheaper. Buying your magazines in the grocery store or even through subscription can get pricey. We begged Texture to give you a good deal, and they delivered.
You can get 3 months of unlimited access to TONS of titles (like, 100’s) for $10.
That’s what I spend on a Chick a Filet meal. ONE magazine can EASILY cost close to that in the airport. So yes, this is a FANTASTIC deal.
3. Kids love electronics. If you can USE the appeal of electronics to encourage reading, why not do it?
Here are some suggested magazines found via TEXTURE which might interest your kiddos. We encourage each family to vet these magazines before offering to your child. Though the ones we’ve listed we’d consider “clean”, some are NOT targeted for children specifically. I have also included links to Amazon to purchase the paperbacks if that’s more up your alley. Again, we think TEXTURE is great to save paper AND money!
SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS – Easy recipes that take 30 minutes.
DIY Magazine – Lots of projects mom and child can work on together – or alone for an older child – Amazon
Field and Stream – Outdoor lover? This is perfect!
We hope this helps some young readers out there to learn to love reading! And if anything, magazines are fun for mom’s poolside reading, right? 😉
Allington, R. (2001). What really matters for struggling readers: Designing research-based programs. New York: Longman.