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Parent/Teacher Back-to-School Woes

What do you tell a (preferred to remain anonymous) parent/teacher who writes in the following email?  This is posted with her permission, of course.  Please feel free to post your responses, strategies and suggestions in the comment section.

"My son was scheduled to read 4 books this summer and has read only one. He is NOT interested in any of the books that were on his summer reading list. He also appears to be losing interest in reading; which is not good since school is just days away. 

I've tried tirelessly to support him and encourage him throughout the summer.  However, it's been a losing "READING" battle.  What is a parent to do?  I'm desperate and open for suggestions."

Thanks in advance,
Concerned parent


  1. Get the books on tape–either rented or purchased. Plan a painting project or a long trip, and let him listen to them. Often books on tape, read by professional actors, can make even the dullest book more interesting. Also, by sharing the listening, you’ll be sharing his pain.

  2. My daughter is also a reluntant reader, but I have found if we do it together (you read one page, I’ll read one) then she enjoys it more. I also found that not correcting her mistakes verbally has made a big difference. Instead I’ll say to her “let’s try it again” or let’s soundout or breakup this word into pieces together. If I start the first sound, she will often pickup the next sound and figure it our. Make reading about your journey together, not something that he has to master alone. Once he gets more confidence, then it should be easier. This appraoch has made a world of difference in our home.