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How do you get your teenager to read aloud well?

This kid is a fluent reader and has been for a long time. Back in the day, he read aloud with great inflection and expression. Now I get monotone mumbling.   grrrr.  (Lots of mumbling in regular conversation too.)
 

Mandatory  reading-aloud to siblings of a book of his choosing doesn’t work.  Explicit instruction produces a slight change for just the duration of the session.  Reading aloud to little kids for a grade from an outside teacher didn’t even work. What can I do to get him to read aloud well?!?!?  I’m desperate enough to consider bribery, if you’ve got such a scheme. 
 

The kid enjoys podcasts and audiobooks, so he knows what good storytelling and read-alouds sound like.  (And I think I’m a decent read-alouder.) Is it just puberty?  Will his read-aloud skills return after puberty?  Is it just attitude/boredom?

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I'd let it go for a year or two, then tell him that it's time to work on it again.  If he needs a reason, tell him he needs to practice so he won't sound stupid if a college professor asks him to read something aloud in class.  ETA:  Not to impress the prof, but to avoid embarrassment in front of classmates. 

Edited by klmama
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8 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

I don't know what the deal is but my dh is the most BORING read-alouder that ever lived.  It's monotone race-through.  Maybe it is guys????  Just STAWP.  

Huh...sounds like we could be married to the same man. It's actually painful (like nails on chalkboard) for me to listen to DH read aloud. Now, if he's invested in it, he can do a great job. Once we did a presentation for a church thing, and he read aloud beautifully from a book. And, when he read a poem as he proposed to me, he did just fine. 

But anything else? No thank you, sir. 

So, OP,  I'd say he's just not invested in it. And for that, as his age, I've got no advice.

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9 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

I don't know what the deal is but my dh is the most BORING read-alouder that ever lived.  It's monotone race-through.  Maybe it is guys????  Just STAWP.  

It is not guys in general. My grandfather had the most melodious, deep bass voice and he delighted taking us to the library for the sole purpose of checking out lots of Dr. Suess books so that he could read them to us. I think the thing I miss most about him is his voice...

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29 minutes ago, domestic_engineer said:

Ok - so what if we take the teenager factor out of the equation?  How would one structure a plan to teach a student good elocution, especially in a homeschool environment?

My kids learn a lot about this during speech and debate club - NCFCA.

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4 hours ago, knitgrl said:

It is not guys in general. My grandfather had the most melodious, deep bass voice and he delighted taking us to the library for the sole purpose of checking out lots of Dr. Suess books so that he could read them to us. I think the thing I miss most about him is his voice...

Totally fair comment. I generalized.  My dh CAN read aloud with expression -- you should have heard him reading astronomy magazines to the 6 month old...or Thomas the Tank stories.  He was fantastic.  I think it is because he CARED to make it interesting, to get our offspring engaged.  

Maybe it helps to have material that is personally engaging, and an audience that you think wants to hear the narrative.  And it might just be a little Performance Shyness...teens generally walk around feeling awkward 98% of the time, and reading with expression can be ... too much sometimes. 

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Are you religious? If so, do you do anything like family devotions or evening prayer? If so, what we do is have the kids do most of it, so one might read from the Psalms, one from the Gospels, on leads us on the other stuff. They all have skin in the game and they recognize how important it is to be heard and understood. 

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I'd say speech and debate or some sort of public speaking or leadership course might do the trick. It would be better if it were in person so he could be with other teens, my guess is he feels silly reading aloud and tries to be cool and nonchalant 😛 But since we're in the middle of a pandemic, it could work just teaching him about arguments and fallacies and things like that to help him write some sort of speech and get him to read it. I think it should help and it's a nice extracurricular for his records.

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