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Summer Reading Incentives

How do you keep your child motivated to read when the pool and playground are calling?

Barnes & Noble is making it easier to get kids motivated to read this summer. The store is offering a free book to any child who reads eight books and keeps a reading journal.  

But not all kids are that easily enticed, especially when their friends are calling to meet them at the pool.

Therapist Jenn Berman suggests three ideas for keeping the word count up during June and July:  

  • Let the child pick the reading material.
  • Never use reading as a punishment.
  • Be a parental example.

Sometimes all it takes is a little quiet time to get your child involved in reading. A special book about a place your family will be visiting over the summer is also a great idea. 

So, moms, how do you keep your child motivated to read over the summer?

My wish has always been that my daughters will one day say, "Mom taught us to love books."

We even have a ritual in which we all jump into my big bed at night and read. This summer, my 14-year-old was assigned Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury to read for her honors literature/composition class. She'll be tested on both during the first month of school, so she is eager to get the reading out of the way. I have read Fahrenheit 451, but I think I'll get my own copy of Alas, Babylon to read with her because setting a good example is so important.

—Leslie, mother of two

I am very fortunate that my children enjoy reading. I think reading to them when they were young and showing my enthusiasm for books gave them a strong foundation and a belief that reading is fun.

During the summer we choose books that they might not have time to read during the school year or that are not eligible for Accelerated Reader reading credit. Often these are longer series or books they enjoy but are below their reading level.

The biggest incentive for my children is being able to read whenever they want during the summer, especially late into the night.  

—Melissa, mother of two


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