Help! My Kid Doesn’t Like To Read and is Falling Behind Grade Level Standards

A parent wrote me asking for ideas to support her 6th grade daughter who was reading below grade level and frankly didn’t like to read. Thought others might be interested in some of the practical tips I shared. I’d love to hear what’s worked for your students or in your family, too. Leave a comment below.


*Try graphic novels.  A few of my faves for 6th graders are:

Roller GirlEl Deafo, and Smile


*Use a mix of audiobooks and written books.  Libraries have books on CD or try from Amazon.  Your child could follow along with the regular book while listening to the audio book.  But, even listening alone is a great way to enjoy stories, build comprehension and ignite a love of reading.


*Read with/to your child.  This is actually beneficial for kids of any age and any reading level.


*Schedule time for your child to “practice reading” like you would soccer practice or music lessons.  Reading doesn’t just happen, it is a skill that must be practiced to build proficiency and appreciation of books.



A few books that are appealing to 6th graders but written at a 3rd-5th grade level:

Ninth Ward

Jacky Ha-Ha

The Fourteenth Goldfish

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf

Encyclopedia Brown




Check out BookQuest on Bookopolis for more book ideas.


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