Reading with 13-14 year olds

In high school, reading is crucial for learning.

Your kids will need all their reading skills to keep up with their schoolwork.

Like in upper primary, reading is how your kids will gain a deeper understanding of all the subject areas they are now studying – Maths, Science, English and Humanities plus electives, such as Digital Technology, Food Science, Drama and Art.

Your child will be expected to read and understand complicated information.

They will also be expected to critically evaluate and analyse what they read.

It’s a heavy reading load in high school.

Because of this, you might find that your kids aren’t keen on reading at home.

Their reading brains have been stretched at school all day and they need a rest.

This is ok.

Remember that they might be doing lots of incidental reading at home – on social media, video games, news and websites, even recipes.

This is all still reading.

You can also help them find things they will enjoy reading.

They might even enjoy audiobooks, which they can borrow for free from Libraries Tasmania.

Listening to books will also increase their vocabulary and build their reading brain.

If your child is a reluctant reader, gently point out all the things they will need reading for in life:

  • Getting their driver’s licence
  • Further study
  • Work
  • Filling in Government forms
  • Communicating via text message

Top tip for teens

  1. High school students do a lot of reading at school. It’s ok if they need a break at home.
  2. Notice and celebrate all the reading they are doing.
  3. Help them find books, websites and other material that tap into their interests – is it video gaming, mountain bike riding, the news, movies and TV?
  4. Offer to read aloud to them (if they will let you).
  5. Offer to read a book together. You read a chapter and then they read a chapter.
  6. If they don’t want to read a book, suggest they listen to an audiobook (which they can borrow from the library for free).
  7. Talk to your kids about what you are reading and what they are reading. This is a great way to boost what they are learning.

If you are concerned about your teen’s reading skills, talk to their teachers. They can let you know how they are going and what else you can do at home to help.