During the summer months, it’s difficult to motivate most children to do any activities which are even remotely educational. It is important, however, to make sure that your children continue to practice their reading skills over the summer.
How do you motivate your child to read during the summer?
Bribery Works Wonders
Yes, it would be wonderful if your child would want to read just because she liked to read. For some parents, this scenario is a reality! In fact, there are some parents who probably have to encourage their child to put down their books and go outside to play. Those children obviously don’t need to be motivated to read. Other children need motivation(bribery) encourage them to read.
Barnes and Noble bookstore has a great program during the summer to motivate kids to read. If a child reads 8 books, they are eligible to receive a free book from the store. True, only certain books can be picked for the free book, but they have a bunch of great selections. The free book bribe really works for my children!
Many local libraries have summer reading programs which can motivate kids to read. I am amazed at the prizes offered by different libraries for children who participate in these programs. I remember when there were NO prizes for participating in reading programs. Nowadays, the children get to pick prizes for every 5 books they read at our local library. If they read so many books beyond 5, they get to participate in different activities during the summer. For each 5 books they read, their names are entered into a drawing for a computer!
You can create a motivational plan for your child based upon his or her unique interests as well. For example, my one child is not particularly motivated by the free books or the summer reading program. She does enjoy going to the movies though. Each year we make a pact that if she reads so many books, I shall take her to a movie.
Another motivating factor is money. I know of families that do pay their child to read and I am slightly uncomfortable with this concept. However, I have told my teen that if she reads so many books, I’ll take her to the mall so that she can purchase a new top or a new pair of shoes. I guess purchasing her a new top is really the same as paying her to read, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me as much.
Of course, the biggest motivational factor in encouraging your children to read is by setting a good example for them! If children see their mom or dad reading, they are more likely to want to read themselves.