Summer Reading 2015

Worlds 2015

Every summer, at the beginning of June, we tromp down to our local library and sign up for the summer reading program.  

And every summer, my kids come home spend five minutes or less reading and win things like Happy Meals and cheap toys I don't want.
This year I decided to try something a little different and have our own incentive program.   Instead of individual prizes, we agreed on some fun summer family activities that the kids would like to do but that we wouldn't necessarily do otherwise.   For every 500 points they earn as a group (including what Mom and Dad read individually and what we read out loud as a family), there is a new prize.  They were able to contribute to choosing the prizes with things that they have been wanting to do.

500 Points = Camping Trip
1000 Points = Minnesota Zoo or Underwater World at the Mall of America
1500 Points = Visit a Waterpark
2000 Points = A Weekend Mini-Vacation

Each point is equal to 100 pages read for the older kids or one picture book for the younger kids.  Bonus points are available for choosing something that mom chooses and also for taking book quizzes on Book Adventure.   Only Kylee seems to have figured out that reading out loud to a younger sibling is also a good way to earn extra points since you get one point for reading the book and they get a point for listening.

I'd love to tell you that there has been a mad rush to earn points and read all summer long, but that would obviously (as seen above) not be true.  That being said, they are reading a lot more than they normally read in the summer AND they are reading quite a bit better books than they normally do.  (I can't be the only parent that dislikes those crazy graphic novels or pointlessly never ending series about training dragons?)  Since they can only count a book once they are trying new things and reading much more variety than usual.

This system is a much better fit for both the kids and me.

How do you handle summer reading?

On a side note, that poster board might finally be meeting it's end.  First it was a picture board at Siena's funeral, then our Heartprints board during Lent, and now our reading meter.   Might be hitting the recycling bin soon!


Jerry Windley-Daoust said...

Our summer reading problem is limiting the amount of time kids spend reading -- which we solve by putting books in timeout, if necessary. We are very lucky to have natural readers -- now we need to get them on a program where they earn points for every minute they pend outside!

Heidi said...

My kids have the outside time covered. Not unusual to have a whole crew of them out before breakfast even!