Kids Who Do Not Like Reading

Kids Start Dropping Out of College in Elementary School

Do you have kids who do not like reading and wondering what to do about it? To find a solution, Dr. Linda suggests finding the reasons they don’t like reading and may be doing poorly in school.

Kids who do not like reading suffer in school their entire livesDear Dr. Linda,
My daughter is going into the 6th grade. She hates to read, and has been labeled dumb and lazy by many of her teachers. In fact, I feel they have given up on her. I don’t think she applies herself well, and I think she’s finally gotten to a point where she doesn’t even care anymore.

What can I do over the summer to help her so the next school year isn’t so emotional for her. I’m afraid she’s becoming depressed. She really is very smart. Mary

Dear Mary,
Every child, teen, and adult wants to get an A+. Everyone wants a gold star. When it doesn’t happen, they may become depressed, sad, discouraged, and give up trying. It also happens to younger children just learning to read.

Some people react in just the opposite way. They become belligerent, angry, rude or even physically aggressive from frustration. To do well in school and get that A+ requires work. I agree with you that getting a head start over summer vacation is a good idea.

Kids Who Do Not Like Reading (including primary kids): Why and What to Do about It

1. See your pediatrician. Be sure that your daughter is physically healthy. Many times kids do poorly in school because they physically don’t feel well. Some kids simply need glasses. Many others are tired because they’re not sleeping enough or eating right. Your pediatrician can help you start unraveling the mystery as to why your daughter did poorly in fifth grade.

2. Look for someone such as a teacher, psychologist, counselor, or tutor who can help you learn how your child learns so that she’ll be ready for 6th grade. Your pediatrician might be able to suggest someone. A professional will be able to pinpoint the reasons your daughter is struggling in school.

For example, your daughter’s depression, poor grades and dislike for reading might be caused by a reading disability or an attentional issue. Your daughter may not be able to process language, understand numbers, or write a paper. All of these issues make learning difficult. Spend the time over the summer trying to unravel the causes of your daughter’s struggle with school.

3. Find out some of the topics that your daughter will be learning in 6th grade and go over them. Preview them before she enters school. Introduce some of the vocabulary and concepts that she’ll encounter. For example, if your daughter is going to be learning about the American Revolution, talk about the difference between the Patriots and the Loyalists. Talk about the Patriot’s football team and how it got its name.

When she hears these terms in class, she’ll be more engaged and feel good that she knows something about the topic. If you have time, visit Sturbridge in Massachusetts or, even better, Williamsburg in Virginia. In fact, any vacation in the U.S is a lesson in American history.

4. Read a book together. Find out if her school has a summer reading list. If not, ask the librarian to recommend a book your daughter would enjoy. Each day read it together. If you and she don’t work well together, ask the librarian about summer reading programs she might enjoy.

Many teachers could help her gain a love of reading and help her with reading difficulties she may have. They would love to work with her over the summer. Look around.

5. Be sure your daughter has plenty of off time to enjoy what she loves to do and can relax. If the depression or sadness doesn’t improve over the summer, talk to your pediatrician about it. The doctor will be able to help you find someone who can help your daughter not only do better in school but feel better too.

Click here for more on kids who do not like reading.

Dr. Linda Silbert

Do you have questions about helping children learn how to read? Email Dr. Linda at Linda at

Phonics Centered — Consistent with Orton-Gillingham — Multisensory