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NEW YORK, May 12 (Reuters Health) - Although American children still spend part of their days reading, they are spending less time doing it for pleasure than decades ago, with significant gaps in proficiency, according to a report released on Monday. The San Francisco-based nonprofit Common Sense Media, which focuses on the effects of media and technology on children, published the report, which brings together information from several national studies and databases. The report found that the percentage of nine-year-old children reading for pleasure once or more per week had dropped from 81 percent in 1984 to 76 percent in 2013, based on government studies.
Of those who read or are read to, children tend to spend on average between 30 minutes and an hour daily with that activity, the report found. Rideout cautioned that there may be difference in how people encounter text and the included studies may not take into account stories read online or on social media. Despite the large percentage of children with below-basic reading skills, reading scores among young children have improved since the 1970s, according to one test that measures reading ability.
The reading scores among 17-year-olds, however, remained relatively unchanged since the 1970s.
About 46 percent of white children are considered "proficient" in reading, compared with 18 percent of black children and 20 percent of Hispanic kids.
The report highlights some behaviors that have been tied to children being more frequent readers.
The following read aloud strategies are targeted to specific age groups, starting with pre-readers and moving to middle school readers.
For young readers (before they’re able to follow a story line), focus on books that have repetition (again, Dr.
Ask older readers to make predictions, either before they read the book or while they are reading it. Once your child is in middle school, she may not be interested in being read to (but she may!).
This goes for all ages of children: Be a good read-alouder (I think I just made up that word).
Remember, the goal is to help them learn to enjoy reading, model good reading strategies, and share a reading experience with them.
For further reading, check out this great article at Literacy Connections, or this one from Penn State, or this one. You can read more about the importance of reading aloud in this article, this group of articles, and this website (which includes a good read aloud book list). This blog is rarely political, but I do find it worth addressing censorship as it applies to book. Now I absolutely believe that there are appropriate and inappropriate books for children to read given their age or maturity level. Censorship is especially complicated when we’re talking about the ideas presented to our children.
You can find more information about Banned Books Week 2010 at or the American Library Association or the Association of American Publishers. My daughter is 15 months old and we’ve recently made a habit of going to the library together. If you are a parent or teacher of a reluctant reader, you know how difficult it is to motivate them to read.
So if you’re a parent or teacher of a reluctant reader, here are 5 suggestions on motivating them to read more.
When I was a middle school reading teacher, I posted this quote in big, bright letters right inside my door.
Children who read more often tend to be stronger readers, and stronger readers tend to enjoy reading more. So when your child struggles, help him  find something he can read well, because reading well generally leads to reading enjoyment. Scalable to any size without losing image quality; can be used for any printing or online applications. A bright eyed girl in pigtails is fascinated by the contents of the open book she is reading. Most of these apps are appropriate for beginning readers (or those learning how to read), but a few are still applicable for proficient readers as well (especially the apps focusing on comprehension). This app is great for teaching letter SOUNDS (which is WAY more important than learning their names).
Marbleminds Phonics is a relatively simple app that encourages phonics skills while also rewarding the user with marbles for completing the tasks. Appropriate for children who are already reading, this app helps a child develop critical thinking skills and comprehension.

Sequencing, or being able to recall the events of a story in order, is an important component of reading comprehension and cognitive development. This app, created in the UK, lets your child create their own story by choosing one of three heroes, story lines, and endings (happy, sad, or funny). Unlike most sight word apps, this one goes beyond the basic flashcard method and makes learning sight words a little bit more interactive and fun.
Hi, I’m a tchr who is an android user but my sister who is a remedial reading tchr with an ipad was so grateful for these sites.
Some well chosen Apps – I think the best current APP to learn the first 300 words is monster phonics. Subscribe below for regular updates and a FREE copy of Seasonal Kids Activities and more great freebies! About a third of 13-year-olds and almost half of 17-year-olds reported in one study that they read for pleasure less than twice a year.
Only about one-third of fourth grade students are "proficient" in reading and another one-third scored below "basic" reading skills. Those behaviors include parents setting aside time to read with their children and parents reading themselves to model good behavior.
Hearing rhymes will help them identify rhymes later on, and the ability to identify rhymes aids reading development because rhymes are usually produced by similar spelling patterns (at least in beginning reader books).
I know I said to let them choose, but make sure they have different genres and topics available to them. Predictions are a great reading strategy because they require children to put together pieces of the story, analyze them for a pattern, and then make a reasonable guess as to what will happen next. Neither their reading development or reading pleasure is enhanced by long breaks (more than a couple of days). Today, tomorrow, the next day … as long as they’ll listen keep reading to them! Going to library for her means walking through stacks of books, pulling colorful titles off the shelves, squealing at the sculptures in the children’s section, and touching every computer that has a green light on.
Libraries have thousands of books, and research has shown that, in general, the more books children have access to, the better readers they become. The Eugene library, for example, has a great kids program that includes story times for different ages, song sessions, book groups, board game times, homework help, and special holiday events. I know this is obvious, but I’m always surprised that I have to wait longer to talk to a Home Depot employee than a librarian. This is usually because they find reading difficult (in which case they need more support) or boring (in which case they need help finding more interesting material).
Comic books, travel brochures, song lyrics, movie reviews, instructions (to assemble a toy, for example), magazines, and newspapers all have potentially interesting material for children. Magazines are often an untapped resource.
I know this may seem counterintuitive but it’s important not to make reading a conflict between you and your child.
While it’s certainly not the only way, reading is an important way to acquire new knowledge and skills. While working on Wall Street and working at McDonalds require different levels of literacy, almost all jobs require some level of literacy.
If you have a Kindle Fire or Android tablet or smart phone, you can always search for the apps listed below for your platform. Thank you so much for passing these onto us and if we are unable to use them we can at least pass them onto someone who can.
They’re more interested in flipping the pages and hearing the melody of your language.
It means being dramatic without being overly-dramatic (unless you’re reading the lines of an overly-dramatic character). But ask about what they liked or didn’t like, what parts they found believable or not, if they have any questions about the book, if a certain scene reminded them of something in their own life or from another book, what they imagine a character looks like, which character they would most like to meet (or which character they would least like to meet), etc. It is hosted by seven organizations: the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, and the National Association of College Stores. Once we start limiting people’s freedom to choose what they read, we limit their access to information. And I wouldn’t give The Chocolate War to a 7th grader because the swear words, violence, and sexual content would be inappropriate (I believe) for that age. Some libraries even have programs for parents about how to help develop their children’s literacy skills. Most libraries also have stuffed animals, but that just seems a little too unsanitary for me.

Librarians possess an incredible amount of information that will help your developing reader. My neighbors, for example, have a 12-year-old daughter who goes through several books a week. You should be their reading coach, the one who supports their struggle and works to find them interesting texts, not their drill sergeant. They have a hard time understanding what’s being said, much less making any sort of meaningful connections to it.
When we share stories with our children, we connect with them, get to know them better, and shape the values of their lives. We go to story time, wander the aisles, pat the sculptures (I’m sure this will pass in time!), and check out some new kids CDs and books. But I think this requires being an informed, involved parent, not a parent who’s ripping titles from library shelves. Songs, dancing, stories, clapping, playing with other kids … what’s not to love?
I love the library, but going to the library with my daughter is a different experience that the pre-child library trips I was used to.
Buying books can get spendy, but library books are free (as long as you get them back on time)! They are often my best source for book recommendations (which, thus far, have been primarily for my students). While other parents struggle to get their children to read, these parents struggle to get their child away from a book in order to eat or go on a bike ride.
Unfortunately, this slows down their reading development and makes progress and enjoyment even more elusive. And you may get them interested enough in the story that they’ll continue reading it on their own. Help them write their story, let them decorate a cover, help them bind it with something as simple as staples or ribbon.
And our ability to learn directly impacts (perhaps is even the single greatest impact on) our ability to choose our path in life. To be truly free, to open your life to the most possibilities, to open our children’s lives to the most possibilities, we need the skills to understand and manipulate language. Money is not the endgame, at least for me (I’ve chosen to stay home with my daughter). But, there are read aloud strategies that will boost a child’s reading development more than others. Don’t make them read Call of Wild and The Hardy Boys because those were your favorites when you were 12. Maybe your 7-year-old can read Hop On Pop to you and then you can read a chapter of My Father’s Dragon to her.
Sentences that end in exclamation points should be read with the emotion that the character would have felt (anger, sorrow, joy, fright).
It helped me assess what low readers were actually struggling with (reading the words or understanding the story), and helped engage readers in age-appropriate texts that they could not read for themselves. But I wouldn’t ban these books from the library because of my opinion about the appropriate readership.
Be informed about what your child is reading and be involved in school so you are aware of curriculum.
Ask teachers about the books your kids are reading, preview books, read reviews online, and read books along with your child so that you can talk about controversial content and themes. Help your child find something he can read well and it will lead to more and better reading. If we start limiting controversial text, then we start down the road of limiting freedom and democracy. A good librarian will probably always know more than a parent about current children’s and youth literature. If you’re a good read-alouder, your children will not only be more entertained, they will also comprehend the story better. There are certainly books and ideas that I’d rather not be in the public sphere, but freedom is more important to me than comfort.

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