Reading Icon

4 Tips to Beat the ‘This-Book-is-Boring’ Blues

How many times as a parent have we heard: “This book is so BORING” or “This book is so OLD” or even “This book SUCKS”?

All parents have likely heard one or more of these sentences from their child in regards to required school readings.

It’s almost impossible for most students to reach the end of high school without needing to read some kind of classic literature. Whether it is Shakespeare or Bronte, lessons about symbolism, metaphor, and imagery can be complex. Lessons about language structure can make it difficult for students to appreciate the reading process. Especially when the books contain complex themes and are not the most “enjoyable” read for everyone. 

Without petitioning the school board for curriculum changes, how can anyone encourage their child to engage with ‘boring’ books and not develop a distaste for reading thoroughly? Check out these fantastic tips and tricks to get students to love reading.

4 Tips to Help Reading Become Fun

1. Ask Questions 

If kids say they don’t like a book that has been assigned, they should be able to articulate why. 

Try asking what they would instead be reading and why. If they say, the main character is ‘stupid,’ ask them which part of the book made them think that. You will quickly discover whether your child is forming engaged opinions or simply repeating ideas without backup.

2. Read Alongside the Student 

Read the book yourself. Discuss with your child which parts you liked (and which parts bored you as well!) If your child can tell you specifics (even if they are bashing the book while doing it), at least you know they’re reading and remembering the story.

As a bonus, this process creates excellent bonding time between parents and kids! 

3. Find Modern Reference Points

Often old materials and subjects are recycled in many different forms. The same storyline could exist in modern movies, books, and TV shows. 

The student may be too distracted by the language and old references to realize that what they are reading now has been used in modern times. Check out this great example of this is that the ‘love triangle’ plot in Wuthering Heights between Catherine, Linton, and Heathcliff is also found in the Hunger Games between Katniss, Peeta, Gale.

A quick search online will help you find many more reference points that might be a little more engaging and modern for a student to understand. 

4. Pay Attention to Reading Complaints

Students sometimes disguise misunderstanding as dislike. This happens often and is sometimes challenging to distinguish between the two. 

So, if your child isn’t comprehending what they’re reading, it’s unlikely that they will enjoy it. The book itself may not be too dull or old at all. It might be that the child’s reading level does not match the level required to understand and appreciate the book.

If you discover that your child might need help with their reading, then check out this article on how to develop more vigorous reading habits.

Oxford Learning Can Help

Contact your local centre today to learn more about how Oxford Learning can help your child to develop stronger reading skills and get the most out of their education! 

Contact Us

Find an Oxford Learning® Location Near You!

We Have Over 100 Centres Across Canada!
Contact A Location