Whether your kid's a flat-out reluctant reader or just easily distracted by activities that offer quicker gratification, getting your child to really commit to reading can be a challenge. Sometimes it helps to make a little contest of it -- set a goal and offer a reward for reaching it. Here are ten goals to try, ranging from small-scale to long-term.
1. Read a Chapter a Day
Offer a small and motivating reward for your child to receive after reading a daily chapter. One of these coupons,
2. Read Ten Chapters
Use these Motivating Bookmarks
to count up chapters read, then trade the punched-out paper for a special reward or privilege.
3. Read Ten Books
The same bookmarks
can be punched out every time a book is completed, then traded in for a special reward or privilege.
4. Read a Whole Series
Whether it's something heavy like Harry Potter, or lighter-weight like the Magic Tree House
books, series provide their own motivation, and getting to the end is a milestone. Make a list or a chart of all the books and check them off with great fanfare.
5. Read All the Books by One AuthorIf there's an author your child likes, make it a little project to read all that writer's books. Again, make a list or a chart and check 'em off.
6. Read a Whole ShelfGo to the library and have your child pick a shelf that looks appealing, and then read your way across it. You might make a list of the books here, too, since shelves do sometimes get reshuffled; or just make it an adventure to read whatever book comes next on the day the previous one's completed.
7. Read a Book for Each Letter of the AlphabetGoing by title or author's last name, start with an "A" book and find a book that fits each alphabet letter all the way to "Z."
8. Read Books That Spell Your NameAlong the lines of the alphabet letters, have your child read a book that starts with each letter of his or her name (full name, if the first name's short). Put up a big chart with your child's name down one side and fill in the title of each book read.
9. Read X Number of Books in X Number of DaysSet a date goal -- the end of summer vacation, maybe, or the time between school starting and holiday gift time -- and a number goal that needs to be reached before it. Make a chart like they do for fund-raisers, filling up that tube until it reaches the top.
10. Read More Books Than a SiblingSet your kids up to compete for most books read during a specific time period. Younger or less eager readers may need a bit of a handicap against avid page-turners, but you should be able to arrange some sort of fair fight. Even if reading doesn't delight your child, besting a brother or sister will.