Reading with 9-12 year olds

At this age, your child will be becoming a more confident reader.

They have spent several years at school learning how to read.

Now they are reading to learn.

They are using their reading skills to learn about other subject areas – such as science, geography, maths, art and drama.

They will still be learning new words all the time. This will be especially true in areas with specialised language, such as science.

Hopefully, they enjoy reading.

At home, you can help them by finding books or other reading material, such as websites or magazines, they enjoy reading.

When they read something they enjoy, it won’t feel like a chore.

It doesn’t matter what they read, just by reading, your kids will be boosting all their learning.

What if my child doesn’t like reading?

Of course, not all kids will love reading.

Maybe they still find reading difficult. If they do, and you are concerned, talk to their teacher about what you can do to help.

If your child can read but just isn’t interested in reading, make it your mission to find something they will want to read.

Notice the reading they are doing and celebrate that – is it a recipe? Is it the TV guide? Instructions in a video game?

This is all still reading. And it’s valuable reading we all do in everyday life.

Some kids at this age are often more interested in real life stories.

Try borrowing a book about their favourite sports star or celebrity.

Books like the Guinness Book of World Records are also a great choice with crazy facts and photos.

You could make time to read it together and then share what you’ve learned with the rest of the family.

Talking about what you read is just as valuable as the reading.

Top tips for tweens

  1. Help your tween find something they love reading. There are books about EVERYTHING – motorbikes, sport, fashion, videos games. Borrow a real book or eBook from your local library or school.
  2. Notice and celebrate all the reading your kids do, even if it’s not a book
  3. Don’t make reading at home a chore. Have days off. Let them skips pages if the book gets boring.
  4. Take turns reading a book together. You read a page and then they read a page. Or take it in turns to read a chapter.
  5. If they are finding it hard to get started on a chapter book, read the first few chapters aloud to them. By then, they should be hooked and will want to keep reading it by themselves.
  6. Keep reading books aloud to them. Do it together as a family, if that works for you. You will be able to read more complicated books than your kids can read by themselves. Just by reading to them, they will continue to learn new words.
  7. Don’t be afraid to put on silly voices when you read to your child. It never gets old.
  8. If you have younger children, get your tween to read aloud to them. It’s a great activity for both of them.
  9. 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 child’s progress with reading, talk to your child’s teacher. They can let you know how they are going and what else you can do at home to help.