Saturday, June 10, 2017

Summer Reading Chart & Book Favorites

Summer is so awesome because there is so much more time at home. Nothing makes me happier than seeing all of my little ones get to play together all day. I am also so grateful that the sun is shining and that we have a great backyard for them to just go outside and be kids. 

Another thing I insist on over summer break is reading! I want my kids grabbing a book as much as possible. Every summer we do a reading chart where they keep track of their reading and get rewarded for it at the end of the summer.  We're trying to make reading a habit, something they turn to when they have down time or whenever they are searching for something to do. And hopefully it will turn into something they look forward too and really enjoy!
This is how we do it... 
If you look at the chart there are 4 squares under each day of the week. 
Each square is worth a points. Each time they get a point, they can place a sticker to mark it. The goal is to get 4 points each day. 
For smaller kids, reading 1 book earns them 1 point. For older kids who are reading more difficult books or chapter books, set a time limit that will earn them a point. For example, Sophie is 7 and is a really great reader now. She is reading a lot of chapter books and they take longer to finish. So instead of a point per book, she gets a point for every 15 minutes she reads. This is an easy way to keep track of her reading, while keeping things doable and fair. We can't expect her to read 4  books in a day when they are chapter books. But I also allow her to read a picture book to one of her younger brothers to count toward a point. This really helps us all! I don't always have time to stop and read to the little ones. 
We let our kids earn money for the reading they do. They have the chance to earn up to $1 a day. 
So each point they earn is really worth a quarter. 
Brandon who is 4 gets $.25 per book and Sophie who is 7 gets $.25 for 15 minutes of reading. 
We do a little chart for Baby Davis too... because we all read to him and he loves it. He doesn't really understand what we are doing and we won't really pay him, but it's extra motivation for Sophie and Brandon. They love helping Davis to earn his points by reading to him and helping him to place his stickers on his chart. And how cute are these stickers
You can stick to points if you aren't interested in paying them. But some kind of reward for a certain amount of points will really motivate them to read. Maybe once they get X amount of points they can go out for ice cream or have a movie night etc. 

We usually decide what we are saving our money up for. It's good to have a goal in mind. This year we want to go to Lagoon, a theme park here in Utah. So the kids will read their little hearts out to earn their way and end the summer with a fun day out as a family. 

Can they make up any days and points that they missed? I say YES, YES, YES! There are days where we are away from home all day, or they aren't feeling well, or for whatever reason they didn't get to their reading. So if they feel up to reading extra another day to make up for it, that sounds great to me! 

For little ones who can't read yet... 
Let me tell you the various ways my 4 year old reads on his own. 
I try to read to him everyday, but the point of this reading program is also for them to learn to love reading and to start reading on their own.

Storybooks with Audio CD: I bought brandon an inexpensive cd player and taught him how to use it. He feels like such a big boy and loves following along in the book while listening to the cd. 
The second way that Brandon reads on his own is using Me Readers. These are fun little tablets that come with a set of books and have the stories recorded on them. They are simple enough to use and easy for little ones to learn.  I usually teach my kids how to use them around 2.5-3 years old and they always feel like such a big kid doing a big kid thing! They simply select the book they are reading, and then press the symbol on the tablet that matches the symbol on the page they are looking at. 
Summer Reading Chart
 Click on charts below to download. These are 11x14 files. Print them at any print center on cardstock.  I was so excited to make this reading chart but just didn't have very much time to design it. I am usually really strict about only using my own designs and graphics but I didn't want the summer to pass me by before getting to it. So I found this super cute graphic set on Creative Market. Phew... glad it's checked off of my list and I know the kids love how it turned out. And I'm glad to have supported another creative mind! 

These kids have been so excited about reading and so motivated to fill up their charts. Brandon was listening to a book before I even got up this morning and Sophie has been taking her book with her every where we go. This mama couldn't be happier about how this little reading program is going! 

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