Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Reading Incentives

Each summer we sign up for the summer reading program at our local library.  Our family has participated for more than a decade.  There are nice prizes and our libraries are the absolute best - high tech and high energy.  I still like to spice it up and offer even more incentives.

$100 for 100 books

This idea came straight from the Dollar Tree.  I picked up the poster and thought, what a motivator!  We take it light during the summer and video game usage is not restricted to "weekends only" as during the traditional school year.  Offering additional incentives to encourage self-motivated variation in the evening activities seemed liked a great idea! 

Summer Reading Bingo

I got this great idea from the Free Homeschool Deals blog.  Visiting the library is a part of what we do as a family.  Our libraries offer lots of fun activities, classes, programs and even chess. Most of the time I choose the books from the library. I will sit down on the floor and slowly go through each book on a shelf to find just the right treasure.  My sons may not go that far, but this activity will encourage them to explore the many genres in the library.  Scholastic also has a summer reading bingo printable that includes fun activities to do while reading.  Successful completion equals a $25 gift certificate to Game Stop from mom.

The Read the World Summer Book Club

Reading around the world is something we already do.  Joining a club of readers doing the same thing sounds like fun.  So we are joining the Read the World Summer Book Club with Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool.  Each week the club reading will focus on Africa, Asia, Europe and other parts of the world.  Membership includes free downloadable activity suggestions and a link up party at the end. I've also added a fun incentive.  We will choose a place to have dinner as a family that features the cuisine from one of the places we visit in our readings.

Teen Summer Reading Incentives

KingMan has lots of reading to do this summer that is not related to summer reading.  He is studying for his learner's permit, studying for his life guard certification and participating in a summer academic enrichment program.  Still, I want him to do some summer reading too. So I did a quick Google search on the "top" and "must read" list for teens and African American teens. What an exhausting and frustrating search! Slideshows are particularly annoying because you have to click through each one.  A nice list of books with links and descriptions, maybe grouped by categories such as leadership, coming of age, adventure, would have been nice!   So I searched the 50 Books Every Black Teen Should Read, the 15 Books That Should Be On Every Teen's Radar, and a host of other lists.  There were two titles that caught my interest:  Between the World and Me and The Outliers.  I have also created a Pinterest page for this book list. Please add your suggestions to my board. Incentives for teens are quite easy ... a fresh pair of sneakers, an iTunes card, PlayStation currency or a gift card to his favorite store.

Set A Good Example

This year our local library has a summer reading program for adults. I read widely and all the time, mostly for information.  I don't read as much for pleasure.  The last book I read for pleasure was No Woman No Cry-My Life With Bob Marley, by Rita Marley. I love biographies.  So my first summer reading choice is the biography of Grace Jones!

Get creative with your rewards which can range from a trip to a favorite place, a night out at the movies, or a visit to a water parks.  Enjoy your summer reading!


  1. The only way I can get my 12 yr old to read - is to read the book with him. He doesn't desire reading much. Now my daughter reads all the time as she watches japanese cartoons and has to read the dialogue.

  2. Same here Nita. Hence the need for incentives.