A summertime reading challenge for my daughter

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After a long, cold, long winter here in Canada, I’m definitely looking forward to this summer. Vacations are starting to be planned, reading lists are being compiled (look for that soon)… and this year, as we enter into homeschool land, we’re starting to incorporate some reading activities for the whole family.

When I was nine and ten, my favorite part of the summer was the reading challenge at my local library in St. Albert, Alberta. If I remember correctly, it was to read something like at least one book a week for the whole summer, check in every week, and at the end, you’d get a prize. Or maybe bragging rights.

(Again, this was 25 years ago, so I can’t remember it all…)

So this year, I wanted to try a reading challenge with Abigail, our oldest daughter. She loves, loves, LOVES to read. (Can you tell this makes me happy as a parent?) So something like this seems like a natural fit, and she’s pretty into the idea. So what I’m encouraging her to do is:

  • Shoot for reading at least one (age appropriate) book per week. The books she chooses are, for the most part, entirely up to her.
  • She needs to write a one-two sentence summary of what happened when she’s finished each book. I want her to not just focus on reading a bunch of stuff, but comprehending it (which is also why I’m encouraging her to read age-appropriate chapter books).

At the end of the summer, we’ll tally up the results and if she reads at least ten books, she’ll receive a prize. Right now, I’m thinking a Chapters1 gift card so she can go on a daddy-assisted shopping spree.

We’ll see how it plays out. She might surprise me and read a lot more than 10 books. She might only get to about 5, depending on how into it she is when summer really starts. But my goal is to nurture her love of reading, and get her into a lifestyle of learning mindset. Lord willing, it’ll help.

What kind of summer reading activities did you participate in as a kid? What have you found helpful with your own?

Show 1 footnote

  1. Chapters is the big box bookstore here in Canada.

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  • Kim Shay

    What an excellent idea! My kids loved summer reading. And writing summaries of the books is such a great encouragement. I hope she loves her summer reads!

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      Thanks Kim, I hope so, too!

  • Ann Beaulieu

    What a wonderful idea! I love it. I will try to remember to do that when my grandchildren are old enough. For now we are just turning the pages of the books with Grand’Ann, but it’s a start! :)

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      It’s a great start :)

  • http://asmallwork.wordpress.com/ Ryan Higginbottom

    Sounds like a great idea! We’ve had “reading prizes” for our oldest for summer reading benchmarks for the past two or three summers. Fun things like a trip to the frozen yogurt store, a book at Barnes & Noble, etc.

    I’m hoping this summer to incorporate some Bible reading “challenge” into my daughter’s reading diet. Have you done this before? Any suggestions?

  • Amanda Smith

    I’ve put my kids in two free summer reading programs, one through BJU and one through Borders Books. I tell them that they can pick half the books they read and I will pick the other half – that way they can read things they like (Wimpy Kid, Fancy Nancy, and so on) and get in some great books, too (The Hobbit, The Giver, etc.).