Motivate Your Preteen to Read

When she was little she begged for a story every night. When she learned to read on her own she read book after book, eager to use her new ability. Now that she's a tween, however, reading no longer seems as much fun. Sometimes when children begin middle school, reading for fun takes a backseat to homework, required reading, and other activities.

Encouraging your tween to take an interest in reading may not be easy. Don't throw in the towel yet, there are ways to help motivate your tween to read. The suggestions below can help you accomplish just that.

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Motivating your tween to read is so important, and when your child hits middle school, reading skills play an important role in school success. Recent research indicates that readers do better on standardized testing, such as the SATs, than do non-readers. And don't forget about the enjoyment that reading can bring an individual. The good news is your preteen doesn't have to read the classics in order to benefit from reading. Tweens may take an interest in a book if they're familiar with the story. If your daughter recently saw a great movie, see if you can find the book from which the movie was based. How many tweens rediscovered the love of reading after watching the Harry Potter movies or The Chronicles of Narnia series?

Consider Magazines

Middle school, reading and tweens: magazines are a great way to keep tweens reading in middle school. Girls' Life Acquisition Corp.

In middle school, reading can be seen as uncool. If books don't interest your son or daughter, subscribe to a magazine that might cater to their interests. If your daughter loves crafts, consider a subscription to a crafting magazine. If your son is into sports, see if he'll read Sports Illustrated or another sports focused publication.

There are several magazines that cater to the tween girl market, including Girls Life and Discovery Girls. Both offer a lot of information on dealing with school problems, social problems, and making the most of the tween years. While these magazines also focus on make-up and fashion, they still offer substance to tween readers, and that makes them a worthy option.

Start a Club

Tween book clubs are popping up at libraries across the country, and even some school districts are sponsoring middle school reading clubs. A book club gives tweens the chance to read a book together and share their observations and comments about the story. If a club isn't offered in your area, consider starting one with your child and her friends.

Enlist Their Help

Ask your child if she's willing to read to younger siblings or neighbors in order to help them improve their reading skills. The chance to share a story may be enough to encourage her to keep reading for fun.

Some school districts offer tutoring programs in which older students tutor younger ones. Consider allowing your tween to participate in a middle school reading and tutoring program, if one is offered. It will give your tween the chance to improve her own reading skills while helping a younger student develop theirs.


One of the biggest obstacles with middle school, reading and tweens is time. In middle school, reading and other extra-curricular activities may be pushed out of the way by other responsibilities including homework and babysitting. Tweens are often times over scheduled, and when they do have free time they're more likely to watch television, play on the Wii, or text their friends.

You can still encourage your preteen to read by setting aside an hour every week just for reading. Make television and other distractions off limits during reading time. Make this time fun, by selecting a book the two of you can read together, or simply sit down with your tween and read your own book while he reads his.

Set an Example

Set a good example by taking an interest in reading yourself. Also, consider joining a parent/child book club together. Parent/child book clubs are becoming popular in many areas. If you can't work one into your schedule, you can still sit down with your son or daughter and share a great story.

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