Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Reading Rewards

During the summer months, we usually participate in some of the local summer reading rewards programs.  We fill out the form to receive a free book at Barnes and Noble.  We used to do the same at Borders, until it closed.  And we always join the library program.  But this year, I would like to do something more than just earning a free book.  Something to get them really motivated to read for pleasure, instead of required reading for school lessons.

Now don't get me wrong.  Both of my daughters, of reading age, enjoy reading.  And they do read on their own, without prompting, just because they want to.  But I would love for them to read even more.  To pick a book over a TV show.  To pick a book over a Computer Game.  And I'm thinking that a Family Summer Reading Rewards program might just be the ticket.

But where to start, that is the question.  I'm hoping some of my readers have some suggestions for me.  Have any of you ever done this?

I have to decide if they pick any book of their choosing...or if I should make a list of some great choices, and then let them pick from there.  I mean is it strictly for enjoyment?  Or should I try to get some side benefits out of it, like focusing on books about certain time periods, events, famous people, etc?  Or maybe a mixture of both options?

I need to decide how to judge progress.  Should prizes be based on number of books read, or number of pages read, or how much time spent reading?  And how do I keep it fair with a 3 year age gap between the two daughters?  Meaning that one can probably out-read the other one.

Also what kind of rewards should I offer?  Family time, gift cards, privileges, money?

I would love to hear your thoughts about what has and hasn't worked for your families.

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