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As my son’s 7th grade year came to a close, we noticed that it was impossible to get him to read for pleasure. His mind was too focused on movies, television, Wii or Xbox plots and dialogue. From his own lips, “Why do I have to read anyway?”  We desperately wanted to help our son develop a love of reading so it was time for…

Time for Drastic Measures

One summer we instituted “Drastic Measures”.

At the beginning of the summer, we banned all electronic devices. I put the TV, XBOX, and Wii in a hidden box. I deleted my son’s timed computer account. We housed all DVD’s in a locked cabinet. We told our son, “Here are the board games. Here is your yard. Here are your friend’s phone numbers. Here are the books.” For about a month, things went relatively well.

Then things got even better.

Slowly, A Love of Literature Develops

I went to the library and brought home some Playaway books and audio CD’s of books. We struck gold with the Hunger Games Series. Surprisingly, we also had success with some church related talks on CD.  He engaged and to our relief we thought, “Finally, we could get our son to at least LISTEN to literature.”

Note: A friend mentioned similar success with reading a paperback while listening to audio-CDs.

He began to slip and he started to consistently choose other activities over the audio CD’s (they were third or fourth on his list).  So, we struck a deal. For every hour he listened, he would get 30 minutes of electronics use.

Soon after the negotiation, I was being woken up at 6 am so he could show me he had started reading. Wow!

A Love of Literature Developed

As summer came to an end, my non-reader teen had completed listening to the entire Hunger Games series.  He had begun reading the hardcover book, the [easyazon_link asin=”1442429771″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”speciism0f-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Fablehaven Series [/easyazon_link].

So that is the short story of how we developed a reader.