You know when you really love to do something, the joy is just in doing it. But it’s always such a nice bonus when we get rewarded for something we already love to do (if only someone would pay me to sit around in my pjs, eating chocolate and reading People magazine). My daughter, Lily, would sit in her room surrounded by books and read for hours. Then she would come downstairs and read for a few more. This could not make me happier and brings her a lot of joy. However this summer we are going to let all this reading work for us.
Barnes & Nobleis having a summer reading program in which your child (grades 1-6) can read any 8 books and fill out a reading journal and get a coupon for a free book (from a pre-selected list). You must bring in your completed journal between May 29th and Sept. 2 (which is a mighty long time to read 8 books unless your 9 year old is reading War and Peace). Now, Lily doesn’t fit the age requirement, but we are going to try it anyway and see what happens because we will definitely be reading 8 books this summer. If you live in Michigan and want to try a variation on the theme, head on over and check out what Big Binder has to say about Schuler Book’s Summer Reading Program (for that one you get CASH!!-bonus).
Scholastic also has a summer readingprogram in which for every 4 books you read, Scholastic will donate 1 book to a child in need. I could not be more thrilled with this program because it combines two major things I am trying to instill in my children- a love of reading, and a desire to be generous with others. Two birds, one stone. The cool thing is that kids create their own user ID and can log in their books themselves to see their progress and how many books they have donated. I think this will be really motivating to Lily. It also makes age appropriate book recommendations which of course they want you to buy, but in the spirit of frugality, I will be checking them out at the library (as if you haven’t gotten enough of my money with those blasted book forms you send home).
This leads me to my final summer reading program recommendation. Most local libraries run summer reading programs and many offer little prizes, incentives or even drawings for really big prizes. Make sure to check out your local library and sign up. The best part of all of these clubs is they are encouraging reading which is frankly the best free entertainment I can think of for a kid. And what is more frugal than free?