Thursday, April 20, 2006

Summer Reading Programs

For those mothers who don’t homeschool year round, it is essential for us to encourage our children to keep reading even when we are on breaks because they can fall behind. During the summer there are many different programs you can join at your local libraries and bookstores that encourage children to read during the summer. Most of them are just so the children keep reading and keep track of how much and what they are reading. Some libraries will also have book clubs set up. Then there are some organizations that give away prizes to encourage the kids. Here are two that might be of interest:

Target’s Summer Reading Challenge: For kids aged 5 to 15 during the months of May through August. Children must track their reading hours online so they can get the opportunity to win a Target GiftCard.

Pizza Hut’s Bookit Program for Homeschoolers: For children in grades K-6. This program is not a summer reading program; it runs from October 2006 through March 2007. However in order to participate you must enroll by June 9, 2006. This program is great because it rewards the child with a coupon at the end of the month for a one topping personal pan pizza. My four year old is currently enrolled in Bookit Beginners (for ages 3-5) and is loving it! I will be enrolling her in this one now. (They are currently having problems with their website because they have just moved to a new location so it might not work right now but try again later. I spoke to someone at bookit and she said they should work out all the glitches by the end of the week).

Happy Reading! :)


  1. I wanted to enroll in the bookit beginnings but they said no individuals. How did you do it?

    Also thanks for posting your advice about the chart for teaching reading. I'd been struggling with my 4 year old to do his phonics lesson and he just seemed to hate it. So I made the chart and bought stickers to put on it for every day he does his lessons. Now he is so enthusiastic about it. Its really made it easier for me. Im using phonics pathways but I just reward him for every page we do.

  2. That's great! I think kids really need to see how they are progressing and making a chart for them really lets them see that. And stickers are perfect as little rewards. I heard phonics pathways is a great book, recommended by WTM. Let me know how it goes!

    I joined bookit beginnings through a local homeschool group in Orlando. We registered as a group and I believe there's about 15 to 20 families that are doing it currently.

    Are you homeschooling? Are you a part of any local homeschool groups? They are great for your child to get involved in. The children are usually wonderful, well-mannered and very bright. They have weekly park days, sports activities, arts and crafts, book clubs, etc...

  3. I'd been struggling with my 4 year old to do his phonics lesson and he just seemed to hate it.

    From what I've read it seems to me that, especially for a boy, 4 is too young to start forcing phonics and reading skills on a child who hasn't asked for them. You can't teach a child to read when they're not ready, and this includes children of all intelligence levels. I have talked with lots of parents of highly gifted boys who took some time to learn to read.

    What I worry about is tainting the whole idea of reading with the forcing and the bribes. I personally think the Pizza Hut thing is terrible and it has been criticized by many.

    I have read that boys often develop an aversion to reading and this may be in large part due to the fact that boys develop the ability to read much later than girls but they are nonetheless teaching all children to read sooner and sooner in the public schools. Then you get boys who are labeled "remedial" and they learn to hate reading.

    But even with girls, any child who is not yet ready is not yet ready. I only taught my kids to read after they demonstrated a clear interest and some knowledge surfaced that I hadn't even taught them.