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Summer Reading

Free Summer Reading Programs!

Motivate Your Kids To Read!

A recent advertisement for SCORE Educational Centers proclaimed, "A study conducted by Jimmy Kim of Harvard’s Center for Evaluation found that reading 4 or 5 books over the summer months had an impact on fall reading achievement comparable to attending summer school."

After reading that ad, a homeschool friend said, "Love it! My guys read that much in a single week."

Books are a homeschoolers best friend. They are windows on the world that act as springboards to real learning. I know that when my kids read a book about the solar system it led to an exploration of astronomy coupled with frequent visits to planetariums. I kept a world globe handy and made a habit of finding countries on it as we read about them in books. We made a prolonged visit to Egypt amid the book stacks at the library. That "trip" evolved into our own experiments in creating fossils, pyramids, and hieroglyphics.

While many homeschoolers are avid readers, there are those that struggle with reading or are simply not motivated to read very much. Summer reading programs sponsored by libraries and corporations not only reward eager readers, but provide incentives that encourage the reluctant to read as well. Take advantage of them – they are great tools that may enhance your homeschool experience. Here are some free Summer Reading Programs that are available to all:

  • About.com’s Homeschooling Summer Reading Club – Homeschooled children in grades K-12 are eligible. Read books and when the total number of pages reaches 500 – win a certificate, stickers and a prize.
  • Barnes And Noble Summer Reading Club – This reading program (for students in grades 1-6) is based on books by children’s author, Andrew Clements. Read any 8 books and write about your favorite part. Bring a page of what you wrote to a Barnes & Noble bookstore and choose a free book from a list of paperback titles.
  • Half Price Books’ Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program – Children 10 and under (with help from mom or dad) log 15 minutes a day of reading time each week and earn a $3 gift card to Half Price Books, or a free Kids Buffet at Cici’s Pizza. (This can only be redeemed at a retail location for either company.)
  • National Amusements Cinema: Bookworm Wednesdays – Kids get free admission to a select children’s film (at theater locations throughout the U.S.) every Wednesday at 10 AM from June 25 to August 13, 2008, when they present a book report at participating theatres. Children under 6 and adults who accompany a participant receive free admission to the Bookworm Wednesdays movie.
  • Pizza Hut’s Brain Food Summer Reading Program – Open to all K-6 students within the U.S. Each student must read a total of 5 books between June 13 and August 15, 2008. Send entry form that includes a short paragraph listing the student’s favorite book and why. Many prizes awarded including Nintendo DS Lite. This is an extension of the Pizza Hut Book It Reading Program that runs from October 1, 2008 through March 31, 2009 where reading earns kids a personal pan pizza each month. You must sign up for the Book It program by June 30, 2008.
  • Pottery Barn Book Club for Kids! – This is a year-round reading program. Kids of all ages can attend a story time at Pottery Barn on Tuesdays at 10 AM. Receive a Book Club Card at the first story time. Attend 5 more story times and receive a free gift!
  • Scholastic’s Summer Reading Buzz! – Keep your kids turning the pages all summer long! Just choose the appropriate grade level (from pre-k through middle school), and find printable best bets for summer reading. Log the books you read at the website and access games and fun activities too. For every 4 books read, Scholastic will donate one book to those in need.
  • SCORE! Educational Centers’ Summer Reading Program – Over the summer, students read books (at their grade level) to earn fabulous prizes such as a free pool pass to go swimming at the YMCA, or a free game of bowling at the local alley! Only available at participating SCORE centers. For information contact: Michael Solo, Community Outreach Director, SCORE! Educational Centers, Telephone (650) 948-8118.
  • Sylvan Learning’s Book Adventure – This year-round reading programs encourages kids to create their own book lists from over 6,000 recommended titles. They read the books and then take multiple choice quizzes on the books they’ve read offline. They earn points and prizes for their literary success.

Don’t’ forget to check your local library for summertime reading programs too!

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