Posted by: cindybiz | July 21, 2009

Welcome summer!

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A fun reward!

What a great time of year to slow down and enjoy life. No rigid schedule, no pressures and no homework. This all sounds wonderful, until they get back into the classroom in September and the kids’ brains have slowed down…just like their summer schedules! Here is an idea your child’s teacher will thank you for…

In our house, for the last number of years we have had a summer reading challenge. It is one of those low pressure, fun activities that can be done while relaxing at the beach, on the couch on a rainy day…or to help overcome the “I am bored” cries. It is great for every age and ability…when they are younger, it is a fun opportunity to snuggle on the couch and read together! In June, we take a few moments to scour the bookshelves or head to the library to see what books the kids have been itching to read during the school year but haven’t found the time. My children have found all sorts of things from easy readers for my youngest to Shakespeare for my middle girl to fluffy novels for my oldest daughter. The kids enjoy taking their stash and writing out a chart so they can assign a point value to each book…those skinny easy readers, while fun to read, don’t garner many points, so they are mixed in with some chapter books to up the point total.

All set with their piles of books, the negotiating begins! For each point earned, they are closer to their goal. Last year my youngest (then 7 years old) was reading furiously all summer so she could get a “Build-A-Bear”…and earned enough points to get some clothes for her too! Other years we have gone to a local amusement park and they earned x number of points per lap on the go cart track.

What would motivate your child? Ask…you might be surprised how much they would read for something important (well…important to them!)…and just think of the impact it will have on their studies in the fall! And why not join the fun? Some brain stretching for us adults can’t hurt either! Happy reading!

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Responses

  1. We do this also! It is also perfect for a summer that may include a move… we had to last summer and it helped them “stay out of Mommy’s way” while I packed/unpacked. Great job Cindy!

  2. We did something similar when our kids were younger. Thankfully, we have raised three readers–and I’m so, so glad.
    Reading is one of my all-time favourite past-times as well.

  3. Hey Cindy, Great blog. I have challenged Jakob to read a book a week this summer, I have not promised a reward.. yet… great idea though…

  4. Many public libraries have similar programs with weekly prizes to encourage kids to keep up their reading through the summer. July and August were always our busiest months when I worked in public libraries (for 11 years). I don’t know if the kids read all of the books that they took out, but it was very encouraging. Of course, the idea is to get the reluctant readers reading, not just the “already voracious readers” 🙂 Don’t forget about non-fiction and comics for kids who aren’t usually readers.

  5. Thank you ladies for you additional ideas and thoughts! It is great to hear from others who have the same desire as I do…to see our children love reading!!


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