Be sure to check out the other posts in the How To Homeschool For Free series too!
Reading has always been something my children have enjoyed since toddler-hood. Sure, at first all they wanted to do was chew the cardboard, but now they really do hunger for books to read. I am asked several times a week, “When are we going to the library again?” Whether you have good & eager readers or not, it doesn’t matter. There is something on this list that is likely to inspire your little (or big) kids to read all year long. Take note that some programs are not just for summer!
Your local library is very likely to have a program for summer reading. Some are huge events, some are smaller, but I’ve found that my kids enjoy either kind. They mostly enjoy seeing friends & making new ones.
At Half Price Books, kids are encouraged to read for 300 minutes and turn in a reading log, Kids ages 14 and under can get a $5 gift card for HPB for reading in June & July. They have added incentives in each store, such as a $20 card for the reader (one in each age group )with the highest minutes!
Soar with Reading offers fun and games. Hooper is a character who, along with other PBS Kids characters, inspires various reading adventures. It is a collaboration between PBS and JetBlue. Check out the printable activity guide, which might come in handy on a road trip! I didn’t see a prize incentive on this one, but it is a fun website with games and activities.
Barnes & Noble gives your child the opportunity to earn a FREE book (from a selected list) after reading 8 books. You can download a reading log. The new program for 2012 has not been released yet but I sent this link anyway because summer is coming faster than you think! We did this in the past and the sooner you can read all 8 books, the better. In the past, the book rewards have been on a first come, first serve basis.
Scholastic Summer Challenge has started already! Beginning May first, kids read and log hours and spin the wheel for prizes. I don’t know what they are yet because we haven’t finished our first week, but you can be sure my 7-year-old is already all over that one!
Year Round Reading Incentives
Book Adventure is Sylvan Learning Center’s FREE reading incentive program. Your child reads a book, then takes a simple comprehension quiz to earn points. The quiz is about 10 questions long. There are hundreds of books to choose from in all reading levels, and they are usually books that can be found at your local library. Once they have earned enough points they can trade them in for some really neat prizes! Our favorite prize has been a subscription to Highlights Magazine… well, that and the chocolate bar from Rocky Mountain Chocolates!
B&N has monthly book clubs for kids. We do not have a location very close to us anymore, so I can’t say what kind of incentives there are other than the joy of reading and discussing books. Typically, you will find a book club for school-aged kids and a Storytime for the preschoolers. Click the link to see if there is one near you. They also have a free Kid’s Club reward program with free cupcakes on birthdays and other fun stuff!
Chuck E. Cheese has a year-round certificate available. Parents print out the form here and turn it in after reading is completed to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant for free tokens. There are other incentives on their website as well, but only one reward per day, per child.
Pizza Hut Book-It is not just for Public School Kids. Homeschool families can register and get in on the free pizza action, too. Check it out and register your students today! For grades K-6 only.
If you are a part of a Home School organization, you can register the group for Braum’s Book Buddies. A reading incentive for grade 1-5 during the school year. You must register as a group (unless something has changed in the last year or so). Kids can read book and earn ice cream treats. This has always been a favorite for our kids!
I don’t have links for it, but sometimes a local bank will offer a $5 or $10 deposit for reading challenges. It wouldn’t hurt to call your bank or credit union and ask!
(in CT, MA, NJ, NY, OH, and RI only)
Bookworm Wednesdays entitles kids to free admission to a select children’s film when they present a book report at a participating Showcase Cinemas, Multiplex Cinemas or Cinema de Lux box office. Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six receive free admission and do not need to submit a book report.
Click on Clubs & Contests on the left side of the screen. Then click on the red Join Now! button at the bottom of the screen. A PDF file will open that will include the HEB summer reading program reading log. I noticed that it still says 2011, so you might want to wait until summer starts to see if it changes to 2012.
Print out the reading log and record 10 books that are read over the summer. Follow directions on the form and you will get the fun prizes they have for your kids.
Last, but not least, the Six Flags Read to Succeed program is popular for those who live within 100 miles of a Six Flags Amusement Park. Students in grade K-6 can earn one ticket for free admission into a Six Flags park. Each family registers and follows the guidelines. You will get your tickets via email in May. The tickets are usually valid from mid-June to early in August.