With your children settled back into a school routine it is likely that you have been doing more reading. Reading for fun, reading for school or both. When it comes to reading, some children love it, others not so much. If you are noticing your child avoiding reading, only reading when asked or not reading at all, this blog is for you!

What is reading motivation and why is reading motivation important?

Reading motivation is what drives your child to read. What makes them pick up a book and read. This is important because we know that a child’s motivation to read is a key factor in reading success!

When it comes to reading, this motivation can come the child’s own interest in reading. This is known as intrinsic motivation, the motivation comes from within the child.

Other times, motivation to read comes from outside sources, usually school tasks and assignments. This is known as extrinsic motivation, there is some external reason the child is motivated to read.

Children who are intrinsically motivated to read are usually highly achieving readers as they are more likely to read a wide range of books and read frequently.

Children who are extrinsically motivated to read have been shown to have low or declining reading achievement as they get older. The less a child reads, the less opportunity they have to develop their reading skills (and their language skills as a result).

Therefore increasing children’s internal motivation to read is crucial! Internal motivation energises reading. An intrinsically motivated reader engages with the text on a deeper level and will gain more knowledge and experience from doing so!

What are some factors that impact reading motivation? 

  1. Self-concept – If a child is confident with their reading and if they value reading they are going to be more motivated to keep reading.

  2. Choice – having a say in reading materials increases motivation to read.

  3. Modelling – when a teacher or a parent reads aloud and models important reading strategies and behaviours this increases a child’s skills and confidence with reading.

  4. Book Collections – a balanced collections of books is essential. This should include informal titles as well as fictional stories to allow children to select books that spark their interest.

  5. Rewards for Reading – carefully selected rewards can support and increase reading motivation.

How can you boost your child’s reading motivation?

  1. Set Goals and Reward Reading

    • Sign up for contests at your local library or make your own contest with a special prize at home.

    • Reward reading with more reading (e.g. going to the library to get the next book).

  2. Make time for Independent Reading

    • Set up a cosy reading space and set aside time to read every day.

  3. Let your child pick out their own books

    • Having a choice of reading material is a strong motivator and your child is more likely to read if they picked out the book.

  4. Let your Child See You Read

    • Children like to do what their parents do. If they see you reading in your spare time they are more likely to join in.

  5. Create Loving Associations with Reading

    • Reading together is a time for closeness and cuddling.

    • Make stories come alive (e.g. use silly voices, sound effects or motions) and create a great experience and memory together.

  6. Use Audio Books or a Read Aloud to your Child

    • Use high interest books that you child wants to listen to. This will increase their interest with reading and how much they value it.

Using these tips can help boost your child’s internal motivation to read which we know is linked to greater reading success! If you have concerns regarding your child’s reading development or have any questions get in touch with us at Active Speech Pathology.