Boys Who Love Reading

We all know how important reading is. It’s been drummed into us since we were little. The three ‘R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic) are still just as important as ever.

But what happens when you have a child who isn’t interested in reading? Let’s face it, our boys (and many girls) would much prefer to race around the yard in their tidy whities, screaming, ‘charge!’

I’ve been teaching for nine years now, and I can tell you this, reading isn’t a natural process. It takes plenty of practise for the mind to understand the concept, and it’s important to give our boisterous boys the best start.

So, how do we do that?

Reading doesn’t have to be taught sitting down! Here are some effective tips that can work wonders.

Read from birth

Reading should be viewed as a normal, everyday practise. Read to your boys from birth! The newspaper, or back of a cereal box are fine to start with. Babies hear the different intonations in your voice.

A male role model with a passion for books

Get a male role-model, or someone the boy has respect for (Dad, Grandpa, a family friend) to read to him. When he sees a male reading, it shows him that it’s not only okay to read, but it can be a wonderful thing.

Active learning

Young boys are active and love to move. When teaching reading I use physical activities in the classroom. You can do the same at home.

Alphabet: use sticks, sand, water and paint brushes on the concrete, to write the letters and say the sounds.

Dramatic retell: Retell the stories through dramatization. Kids love this, especially when you’re the audience and they get the chance to make you laugh.

Art or Clay Modelling: Use clay to create the characters and scenes, backdrops to retell stories.

‘When a child is immersed in a story, their imaginations are free to run wild.’

Clear Instructions

Tell your boys why you are reading something, or why you’d like them to. Boys reading a recipe to you in the kitchen is a good one. They feel valued and helpful.

For older children, reading questions at school is an important part of their education. Practise this with them whenever you can. Homework is a great opportunity to look at reading and comprehension skills.

Add value to books

Find out what your son enjoys and offer them as special gifts.

Action ahead of emotion in plot

If a story is emotionally charged, boys may zone out. Identifiable characters who are action-driven, are more likely to keep him engaged.


Who doesn’t love a good laugh? Many children love humorous books. I get why, too. Paul Jennings, Andy Griffiths, these guys are great for the Primary School child.

Magazines and the internet

For older, reluctant boys, look for magazines of topics they are interested in. There are a host of online magazines, just like this one. Magazines are picture books for adults, full of colour and interesting, shorter stories. Rather than push them on your older child, just mention them, and make them readily available. Planting a seed is more effective with teenagers.

Good luck!



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2 thoughts on “Boys Who Love Reading

  1. I tend to carry with me everywhere I go a book and a notebook (and pen). That includes to my daughter’s softball games and practices. This past weekend my son came to one of her games. Before the game started, he was sitting under a tree reading. One of the other parents came up to me and asked me if he was my son. When I said yes, she said she knew he was because he was reading. It made me laugh.

    I strongly believe in enforced reading times for kids starting when they are 5 or 6. Just 20 minutes or so a day. We did that with all three of our kids, and they are all readers, now. Because they want to be. But it didn’t start out easy, and it’s still not always easy with my daughter.

    • Your kids have such a great start with a role model like yourself. If a parent loves a subject, it rubs off on their children . Similarly if they dislike one!

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