Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Smart Bookworms Soar

Do you homeschool all year?  Many children are off their regular school or homeschool schedule.  It is very important to continue reading throughout the summer months in order to maintain and improve literacy skills obtained throughout the year, to build children's confidence in reading, and to increase fluency and vocabulary.  Luckily, there are many summer programs available for families to explore.  So let's encourage all our bookworms and readers to read to prevent summer learning loss.    

Our Library Reading Carnival
Our local library has a wonderful program that inspires and motivates children in the area to read.  Alyssa and I recently attended our local library reading program carnival with our friends.  It was a blast even though the weather was scorching hot!  The local fire department visited the library and gave the children a tour of the truck.  There was a bounce house set-up for those interested in jumping.  Alyssa was too hot and had no interest in jumping especially if boys were present. They also had an area for children to pet and see animals including goats, donkeys, dogs, and turtles.  The children were able to decorate cookies, create newspaper hats, color masks and bookmarks, and receive a balloon.  I love the blue light special idea! If children check out particular books; then they receive a treat or small prize.  The Pilot Club donates bikes to the library.  Each age group competes to win a bike.  Last year, Alyssa was blessed through her reading accomplishments and won her first bike ever for her age group.  She read many books independently and I was so proud of her dedication.  Our library also offers free t-shirts and circus tickets after a certain number of books have been read and the form is completed. Please check out your local library to find out if they offer a summer reading program. If not, consider helping to organize and coordinate a reading program for the children.
This was the bike she won last year!
Twenty Summer Reading Programs
Please check all age limits, dates, and prize information.  
1.) Pizza Hut's Book-It Reading Challenge - Read five books to be eligible to win prize package.
2.) Scholastic Summer Challenge - Log minutes in hopes to win a super summer prize.
3.) Sylvan Learning A Page Per Day Summer Sweeps - Chance to win $500 or one of the book packs.  
4.) iVillage PBS Summer Reading Community Challenge - Daily chance to win $1,000 and other great prizes.
5.) Barnes and Noble - Read 8 books and record them in the printable journal in order to receive a FREE book when you turn in the form at a participating store.  Click here for the log sheet.  
6.) Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program - Read for 300 minutes and get a $5 HPB gift card. One top reader per age group each month wins receives $20 HPB gift card
7.) Homeschool Journey's Summer Reading Club - List books or minutes and send in for prize package.
8.) Super Why Right On Read-a-thon - Chart students reading progress and earn certificates.
9.) BJU Press - Wonderful reading logs and book list available for each age group.
10.) Chuck E Cheese Reading Rewards - Earn 10 tokens when your child reads for two weeks straight.  Food purchase is required.
11.) H-E-B Grocery Store - Read 10 books and receive a prize package via mail (takes 3-4 weeks to deliver).  I believe this may be for "Texas residents only" but you'll have to look into it.
12.) Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge- Select and read books from their reading list and earn a free book.  You can also enter the drawing for the backpack full of books AFTER completing the challenge.
13.) National Amusement Theaters Bookworm Wednesdays - Kids earn free admission to select films when a book report is presented.  You can search for participating theaters - list is limited. We do not have one in our area but you might.
14.) Book Adventure (K-8th Grade) - This is not a summer reading program but you can create your own reading challenges through Book Adventure.  Children read books and take comprehension tests.  Points are earned for passing the test.  Points can be redeemed for prizes.  This program reminds me of the AR tests the children took at schools.  Alyssa uses this program and reads books based on her interest.  You'll need to check the title of the book to make sure there is a comprehension test for it.  They do have a new reading contest posted.  
15.) TD Bank Summer Reading - The bank will deposit $10 in a new young savers bank account after reading 10 books.  You must take the completed form to the local TD Bank.  Parent Photo ID and SS cards (parent and child) are needed.  We do not have a TD Bank in our area but you might. However, this program could be easy recreated as an at home reading program.    
16.) Hastings Summer Book Club - Submit an essay for your chance to win a Inspiron computer for you and the school of your choice.
17.) Zane Grey Reading Challenge - Read 10 books and then write a book report or draw an illustration to earn a FREE book.  Book can be mailed to you.
18.) MemeTales Read-a-thon - Create a FREE account and receive twenty FREE online books to read.  Read a book from the weekly theme list and earn certificates.  Share the activities and crafts that you do related to the book on their FB page.
19.) No Time for Flashcards Summer Reading Challenge - Tally reading for a chance to win a $50 Amazon card.
20.) The Homeschool Buyers Co-op has a summer fun reading program with weekly prizes (three winners chosen each week) and the chance to win the grand prize on August 31st.  The grand prize is an Apple iPad 2.  Your child will receive a certificate at the end of the program.  Membership to the homeschool co-op is FREE.  Children can participate in other reading programs and use the hours read at the HSBC.  Click on the link below.

What is the Homeschool Buyers Co-op?  
The Homeschool Buyer Co-op is a free homeschooling organization for both new and veteran homeschoolers.  Co-op membership is free and confidential, and entitles homeschooling families to discounts from over a hundred educational suppliers. They also sponsor "GroupBuys" for curriculum packages that save homerschooling families lots of money. On the site you'll find lots of free information, such as databases of free curriculum, field trips, and educational contests and scholarships. Highly recommended. Click here for more information.
Disclosure: I will receive 100 Smartpoints if you choose to sign up for a FREE account by clicking the link.
Homeschool Buyers Co-op
#1 Way to Save

Note: Please remember to check the local libraries for summer reading programs.  We have three in our area!

Can you think of any other summer reading programs?  If so, please let us all know in the comments below.  Do you participate in any of these programs?  What do you think about them?      

Reading Charts and Logs
Google to find more reading logs or charts.  
1.) How Does She - Subscribe and receive her subscriber freebies which includes her summer reading star printables.  
2.) Cassie at 3 Dinosaurs has a great set of summer reading charts.
3.) Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations created reading progress charts for each season.  Click on summer.
4.) Small Types - Take an adventure through the alphabet while reading ABC books.
5.) Rebecca at Simple As That
6.) Creative Mamma Reading Kit

Reading Lists
There are so, so, so many reading lists out there.  Here are just a few to get you started.  Don't forget you can also use reading lists from popular curriculums or create your own list using living books or classics.  Google this too!   
Sonlight's Summer Reading Recommendations Lists prepared for boys and girls has a recent post linking to their top ten book list websites.
New York City Public Library book lists by grade levels
Scholastic Summer Challenge Book List scroll down to find lists for all ages
Book It Reading Aloud Suggestions

Create Your Own Motivational Reading Incentive Program
* I understand that several of you would disagree with rewarding for reading because you want the love of reading to be internal and not based on extrinsic rewards.  Please don't feel like you have to offer rewards.  Try these activities without incentives and rewards.  I have done so in the past with success.  When we do use rewards, we try to make prizes free activities or something we can do together as a family ... something that we don't always get to do.  I may also purchase inexpensive prizes at Dollar Tree.  

1.) Caterpillar - Cut uniform circles of all colors on light construction paper - you'll be writing on it.  For each book, number of pages, or number of minutes read the child completes a circle and will add it to the caterpillar face.  The basic information to write on the caterpillar would be the title, author, and date.  You could also have the child draw and color an illustration for the book indicating their favorite part.  They could compare characters in a book or focus on the main character.  They could illustrate the setting or include a flip book with drawings for the beginning, middle, and end of the story at the bottom.  Older children can do written summaries for the book.  The reading caterpillar can also be created as a family read aloud activity. Here is a reading caterpillar printable in case you don't want to create your own. I think it is more fun if the children can create it with you!  E How Mom explains how to make a reading caterpillar. Here's another example from Macdonough School.  Playing in Prep has a reading caterpillar program too.  All of these activities can be used during a butterfly or caterpillar unit study.  I created a reading caterpillar with Alyssa last year without rewards and she loved seeing how long her caterpillar grew throughout the summer. The reading caterpillar looks GREAT along the top part of the ceiling!
2.) Paper Reading Chain - Children can earn a link for each book read, for a particular amount of minutes read, or for a certain number of pages read.  The child could write the title of the book, date, and author on a paper strip and link the strips together to form a chain.  If possible, a small illustration of the child's favorite part, the setting, or a picture of the main character could be drawn.  Families with more than one child can compare the lengths of their chains throughout the program and at the end of the program.  They can count the number of links and discuss more than and less than.  This activity is fair for all because each child can read at their own level.  Laura Candler taught children how to make connections and combined it with the paper chain activity.  Go to Wiki How to read step-by-step directions on how to make a paper chain if you haven't done so before.  You could also set a family read aloud goal and see how long your chain can become throughout the summer.  One link for each book read together.  Hang the chain from the ceiling for all to see.  Here is a link to a school chain idea.  Read the third suggestion at EAI and see how you can combine the Read-a-thon and paper chain activity.  The Teacher Wife has a 100 Book Challenge Paper Chain Reading Program.  Children enjoy seeing the chain grow and how long they can make it during the summer months.

3.) Link "N' Learn Manipulatives - I was thinking if this can be done with paper it can surely be done with links.  The child can do the same activities as mentioned above (excluding writing activities). However, they can create a pattern with the links as they read books. Patterns can also be created with the paper chain strips above using different color paper or by writing numbers on the outside of the strips.  Be creative!  Amazon also sells the plastic math links.  The child can find items inside and outside that are the same length as his or her chain.  
4.) Beaded Necklace - Each bead represents a certain number of minutes, pages, or books read independently or aloud.  This can also be used for each chapter read in a chapter books.  The children can also create patterns with the beads earned from reading.  Use something sturdy for the necklace.      

5.) Reading Express Train - Build a reading train with your child. Add a locomotive cart for each book, number of minutes, or number of pages read.  Google train clip art if you do not have one.  Write the date, title, and author on the train clip art.  You could do the same type of activities a mentioned under the caterpillar.        

6.) Create Your Own Read-A-Thon - We did this when I taught in the classroom with a Polar Express theme around Christmas time. Set individual or family reading goals.  Children can bring blankets, pillows, stuffed animals or pets, and of course many books to one room.  Rearrange the room and spread across the floor.  Read together and independently all day.  This activity can be theme related if you desire.    

7.) Reading Genre Tic-Tac-Toe - Click on the link to see tic-tac-toe game card examples for grades K-5.  Children read a genre and try to get three in a row for a tic-tac-toe.  Reading, Writing, and Technology Connection activities are also included and could be used before covering a square.  I used to create my own tic-tac-toe boards for our independent reading genre study at school and for reading homework.  It is a great way to differentiate if you have several learners and can be used for several subjects. Here is a blank template to use.  
8.) Reading Genre Bingo - Children read from each genre in order to get five in a row or coverall (blackout).

9.) Brown Paper Packages - Click on the link to read about another reading incentive program using buckets, slips of paper, and rewards.

Other Fun Reading Activities
Family Reading Packets or Family Reading Literacy Bags - Themed bags with activities to complete as a family.
Book Swap - Organize a neighborhood book swap.  Children can swap their books and read newly acquired books.
Book Club - Children read the same book and get together to discuss it.
Summer Virtual Book Club -  Read a book from a selected author each month, do an activity, and link up what you did with your children.  This looks so COOL!

Summer Reading Challenge
I challenge you to READ!  Read with your children.  Listen to them read to you ... really listen.  Read as much as you possibly can with your children and make it fun at all times.  Watch their attitudes about reading and their love of books soar.  Participate in or create your own reading programs to encourage your children to be avid readers and life-long book lovers.


1 comment:

  1. Hey guys, Carisa just posted her Summer Reading Challenge 2012. Go check it out!