It’s true: Most boys don’t read. Study after study supports the claim that boys are far less likely to read for pleasure than girls. In fact, the 2010 Scholastic Kid and Family Reading Report found that, regardless of race, geography, or socioeconomic status, boys lag behind girls in reading. According to authors of a 2005 NEA study, the gender gap in reading between boys and girls has grown so wide that it can now be considered a “marker of gender identity.”
So what? As long as boys continue to study hard and do well in school, who cares whether they read?
Reading is the most fundamentally important skill that a student can master. Reading is the heart and soul of all other learning: How does a chemistry student learn about the properties of molecules? How does a calculus student learn how to find the limit of an equation? How does a future engineer learn the principles of physics necessary to create structurally sound buildings?
Regardless of what field your son is interested in, he will have to read. Even if he wants to study math or science, he will have to read. And the better he can read, the easier it will be for him to learn new subject matter and to effectively communicate his knowledge.
By far the most successful way to improve reading comprehension and speed is to practice. Students who read frequently – regardless of what they read – tend to score better on standardized tests, earn higher grades in all subject areas, and enjoy greater success in college-level courses. With girls, encouraging reading tends to be somewhat easier as girls seem naturally more inclined to read. But with boys, the challenge can be daunting.
Here’s a list of books that will hopefully get your sons reading, but more importantly, a love of reading will be nurtured.