At HIP Books, we feel that schools ought to have the primary responsibility to help reluctant readers become engaged, competent readers. Most schools have teachers with special expertise in reading, as well as librarians and support staff who also pay special attention to children with reading issues. If your child's school is doing a good job, then parents need only provide support and encouragement at home. Follow the school's lead and be patient.
Nonetheless, the home environment has some advantages in developing reading skills and attitudes. Only at home can your child get the one-to-one attention and encouragement that can foster reading development. Only at home can you ensure that your child is reading for 20 to 30 minutes each day – the essential practice time that makes reading come more easily. Only at home can you make sure your child has access to books and magazines that are closely tied to his or her interests. There are many possible reasons behind reading disability, far too many to discuss here, but this much we know to be true: the more your child reads, the better a reader he or she will become.
For reluctant readers, we urge parents NOT to use drill-and-skill, workbooks, or electronic gimmicks in hopes of developing reading skills. The majority of reluctant readers do not need further drills on phonics – they need to improve their decoding of words in other ways and to work on better comprehension of text materials. The key is to effectively read (and re-read) books and other material that are written at a comfortable level of reading difficulty. While HIP novels are designed for school use, many parents have found them useful for recreational reading at home. Our downloadable teacher materials can also be used by parents to assist with their child's reading development.