When my kids were little, we went to the library every week during the summer for the special Summer Reading Program they offered. This kept our boys excited about books and they loved the opportunity they had to win small prizes and meet challenges.
As most of our boys hit the upper grades and outgrew the library program, I saw that our younger two boys needed a little extra motivation to read during the weeks of summer they were home. (Our older two are welcome to participate also, but they tend to be gone more than they are home during June and July.) So we started creating our own Summer Reading Challenge here at home. I set up a simple reward system – tailor made to what I knew would motivate them! I wrote about this last year and offered some free printables. This year, I made more to share with you!
Create Your Own Summer Reading Challenge
I’ll share how our family sets this up, then of course you can adapt it to meet your needs if the Summer Reading Challenge idea works for you!
1. Set up a system.
Decide how many minutes or hours your child needs to read before he/she earns a reward. Do the minutes/hours count if the child is being read to, or do they need to read on their own? How will you keep track of time spent reading? (I recommend using these charts!)
2. Talk to your child(ren) about what rewards would be fun motivation for them.
Our kids earn a prize after they have read for five hours. Typically our family’s prizes get a little bigger as they read more and more hours. Here are a few our kids came up with that they would enjoy:
- Redbox movie rental
- $1 ice cream cone from Runza
- Choose something from the Dollar Store
- Invite a friend for a sleep-over
- $2 Happy Hour Big Pizza Slice at Pizza Hut
- Drink from Captain Red Beard’s (our local coffee shop)
- Still brainstorming :)
3. Put it all into a chart.
My oldest boys don’t care about a cutesy chart to log their hours, but Malachi (age 11) still enjoys one. (However, even the older boys need to at least log their hours in a notebook so they don’t lose track.) The rewards are usually listed on our fridge.
This year, Malachi will use the Pirate Chart I made. (For some reason he didn’t choose the Flowers and Butterflies Chart?!?)
I’ve made these charts as generic as possible so that you can use them in whatever way your family prefers. The Pirate Chart and the Flowers and Butterflies Chart can be used a little differently than the others that are for writing lists and checking off goals. Consider writing prizes on each cut-out piece for your child to glue onto the chart once they’ve earned that particular prize.
Grab your free printables!
These are free for everyone and will connect you to our fun Heavenly Homemaker’s Learning Zone. It’s free, of course.
Enter your email address here, then check your inbox for download instructions. Print one, print them all, use them in whatever ways work best for your family to enjoy reading this summer!
If you are already subscribed to Heavenly Homemaker’s Learning Zone, you should have received an email yesterday giving you instant access to this freebie. Look in your inbox for the subject: FREE Summer Reading Challenge Charts!