My kids love reading. Picture books, chapter books, how-to-draw books. Fiction, non-fiction. Graphic novels and annoying anime…they love it all. You can be we are regulars in the Summer Reading Program Racket. We have done Pizza Hut’s Book-It, Barnes and Noble and of course our public library. Here are a few tips to make the most of the summer reading programs in your area.
1. Start early
The sooner you start the sooner your little bookworm will start pestering you to redeem their prizes. It doesn’t matter that they have not actually done the reading, or filled out the form. They can still beg and plead for you to take them to turn in their forms. Right now.
2. Get lots of summer reading forms.
Because they will get lost. Several will get lost on the first day, a couple when they are half done and if you have more than six kids I can guarantee one child (the Type A one) will lose it on the way to the library to redeem it. Mr. or Miss Type A would never dream of fudging the reading…so you get to start all over. Meanwhile, your Not Type A children likely just scribbled in the answers the first day or on the way to redeem their prize.
3. Make sure each child turns in their form on a different day.
Our local library offers a variety of prizes from bagels to frozen yogurt. Turning the forms in on different days assures you teach child will get a different prize. Not only does this mean half a dozen (or more) separate trips to get their prizes but (I kid you not) last summer one child got a free hamburger from Boomers while another got an all natural health food “cookie” from a local health food store. Let’s just say one child was happier about their prize than the other.
4. Take out a loan.
Not only have all of my children turned in their summer reading forms on separate days, but Avi got a “free” 5-ounce frozen yogurt at one of those self-serve places. You know that even if take her alone and don’t actually buy any myself it is going to cost a minimum of $8.46 to pay for the overage. Trying to control a kid in a self-serve froyo shop is like trying to get Pioneer Woman to skip the butter and use non-fat milk in her recipes. Or getting Soule Mama to “cut back” on her knitting.
5. Love that your kids love to read.
I have always wondered if summer reading programs work for reluctant readers or not. I have always been a reader, but let me tell you if they had an Algebra Problem Program and by completing 15 hours of algebra in the summer I got a free algebra book as a reward…well let’s just say I would not have chosen to drink that particular Kool-Aid.