Encouraging Your Teen to Read

By Eileen Huntington

Is your teen struggling to pick up a book lately? With a teens busy schedule it becomes hard to find time to read. Finding the right books can be discouraging for a teen as well.  

“Reading is a wonderful pastime for children of all ages, and one of our goals at Huntington is to help students become the best readers they can be so that reading becomes an activity of choice,” says  Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. “Parents can promote reading among teens by teaming up with educators and librarians to find ways to transform teens into lifelong readers.”

Huntington reminds parents that reading for fun has an ulterior effect: it strengthens this foundational skill for effective learning. “The more students read, the more proficient at it they become, which typically results in stronger school performance overall,” Huntington explains. “We find that children and teens who enjoy reading are also better able to employ reading as a tool for learning new information.”

Huntington Learning Center encourages parents to nurture reading as a part of their teen’s life. Huntington offers a few tips to promote reading at home:

  • Introduce your teen to your favorites. As your teen moves toward young adulthood, he or she might yearn for books with more captivating plots—maybe even some of the books you have enjoyed as an adult. Suggest a favorite or two with appropriate subject matter.
  • Let your teen see you reading. It’s hard to convince a teen that reading is worthwhile if he or she rarely sees you doing it. Incorporate reading into your own daily routine, perhaps at the same time of day that you encourage your teen to read.
  • Try books related to interests. A busy teen might easily brush aside reading for other activities, but you might have luck finding books that are related to his or her budding interests. Check out autobiographies of athletes, musicians or celebrities that your teen admires, or get ideas from your librarian of books related to high-interest topics for teens.
  • Suggest “movie” books. If your teen is a movie buff, there’s a plethora of novels-turned-films that might pique his or her interest. If you learn of a movie coming out that is based on a book, try reading the book together and planning an outing on premiere night.
  • Don’t skip that regular library trip. Even as your teen’s schedule becomes busier, continue to make going to the library once every week or two a regular outing.
  • Create a home library. If you have space for a bookshelf in your teen’s room (or even in your living room or study) put your books on display. This ensures that no matter what, your teen always has access to reading material—and it sends the important message that reading matters to your family and good books should be cherished.
  • Help your teen start a book club. Have your child organize a group of his or her friends getting together monthly or weekly to talk about books.  Teens value the input of their peers.  Discussions about books being read, whether in school or at home, can inspire members of the group to want to dive into that book.

Huntington Learning Center offers individualized tutoring programs in reading, phonics and many other subjects. To learn more about how Huntington helps children and teens become stronger readers and students, visit www.huntingtonhelps.com.  




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