4 Easy Steps to Starting a Summer Reading Challenge

summer reading challenge

When I was a child, I loved reading. I remember reading many, many books during summer break. What about you?

Summer has arrived. It’s time to think about activities for the kids. If your kids want to spend too much time on video games and screen time, here’s a great screen time alternative with a summer reading challenge.

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What is a summer reading challenge?

A summer reading challenge means you a goal to read a set number of books each week like 1 book a week or over the whole summer read 8 or 16 books. You could also set daily reading time goals like 30 minutes a day or even 1 hour.

More than just reading, you can encourage your kids to create a summer reading journal. A summer reading journal records books read, the plot, characters, and why you liked or didn’t like the book (sort like an ongoing book report, but a summer reading journal sounds more fun and less like school work).

How to Create a Summer Reading Challenge

Set a goal

Let’s start with a goal for the summer reading challenge. Do you want your kids to read for a set amount of time every day or a set number of books for the summer? Or maybe it’s a combination of both. They need to read at least 30 minutes a day.

To be most effective just like with school time, you will need to require that reading time is completed before screen time and other games are allowed.

Create a reading list

Next, talk with your children and create a reading list. Allow them to choose their own books to read. A summer reading challenge should be fun and include books that interest them. One of my goals with summer reading is to create an interest or habit that grows a lifelong love of reading.

You can also pick a few books to read aloud together. I have found over the years that reading books together is fun and the kids enjoy the stories. Plus, we have read some books I didn’t read as a child.

Pick a few books that also have movies. We love to read the book and then watch the movie. We enjoyed reading The Bridge to Terabithia and Tuck Everlasting and then watching the movies after we read the books. The kids are always quick to point out differences between the book and the movies.

Start a Reading Journal

For each book your child reads have them write about each book in a summer reading journal. A summer reading journal is a great way to practice reading skills and will become a memory book of all the books read each summer.

For more ideas on starting a summer journal, read this article on How a summer bullet journal saved my sanity.

Reward hard work

To keep your kids motivated, create a goal and give them a reward for reaching the goal.

You can approach the goals in several different ways including a daily goal, weekly goal, and complete summer goal.

Start simple by setting daily reading goals that unlock fun daily activities that interest your kids like screen time or playing with friends.

Next, add some weekly rewards for reading. Weekly rewards might include small prizes or special treats like a $5 prize to a favorite store or an ice cream on Saturday. The reward has to be motivating to your child.

Last, try to add a bigger reward for reaching completing the complete reading challenge. Offer your child a true reward that will motivate them and keep them interested all summer. Be sure it’s a reward they will be interested in for 10-12 weeks.

Daily reading is a great way to continue learning all summer. What books will you and your kids read this summer?

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