Works For Me Wednesday

Playing along today with Rocks In My Dryer doing ‘Works-For-Me Wednesday’. My idea has to do with encouraging kids to do summer reading. We have tried doing to library incentive reading programs, but it usually ends up being a bit of a hassle meeting their requirements. So I created my own incentive program.

We keep track of the numbers of books each child reads all summer long. Through this reading,they earn book ‘credit’ to spend at Barnes and Noble on an end-of-summer book buying trip. At our house to earn one book, a child needs to read as many books as they are old.

The younger beginning-reading kids usually earn one book during the summer. The older kids often read enough to earn two or three books apiece. Depending on your budget and your child’s interest in reading, you could increase the number of books earned, or decrease the number of books to read to earn a book. But this level of compensation has worked well for our family.

Our end-of-summer Barnes and Noble is something we all look forward to. One added tidbit for homeschoolers– Barnes and Noble offers a 20%-off educator’s discount to homeschoolers who bring in documentation that they are indeed homeschooling family. When you are buying a couple hundred dollars of books at a time, this can be a BIG help!


  1. Sounds like a good idea. My only problem is that I have one daughter who's a voracious reader – I think she'd rather read than eat, and she LOVES to eat – and one daughter who's a little less book crazy. It's hard to come up with an equitable incentive program when one needs no incentive.

  2. What a great idea!!! What do you do with your non-readers?

  3. Great idea! Ah! To be one of your kids…I'd happily read all summer. (and I'd have to at my age!)

  4. That is great a great idea, Mary! And, thanks for the homeschooler tip…gotta love saving money! 😉

  5. This is a great idea Mary. My daughter loves reading and she's going to start chapter books this summer, so what better way than to give her an incentive to earn those books 🙂

    Check out my WFMW too 🙂

  6. I agree, this is a great idea. I might have to give it a try. What do you do for the children who aren't reading yet? Do you count what you read to them?

  7. Another great WFMW idea! Reading is so important! What a great way to encourage and inspire kids to read during the summer. Imagine that–reading for the pleasure of it…and getting a reward to boot!


  8. Another great idea I have read today!!! We love Barnes and Noble and my little one always wants to go there so this will be a great way to get her to read in the summer and to reward her (and me!) for it!

  9. I like this idea, too.

    My biggest problem is having a system where they will keep track of their books read without me reminding them to write the title and author. Anybody got one for that?

  10. Heather, I would probably have the voracious reader read some longer books to earn her reward– challenge her with a little harder stuff,for, say, every other book. Also, I have set a limit of 3 books total that each kid can earn.

    itybityfrog and oshe– I usually buy my non-readers one book each, since we easily read enough books TO them to qualify…

    And, Carol, as far as keeping track, once they know they are getting rewarded for their reading, they like keeping track of books themselves.


  11. Great idea! Think we'll try that this summer. Thanks for the tip.

  12. Just wanted to add another suggestion for voracious readers I have three…last summer I went online & found titles of books I really wanted them to read…maybe books that are especially important to their stage of life or different genres they don't usually read (I'm not in favor of them reading all "fluff" books)…Maybe I could mix your idea with my idea & reward them for reading a book from my list for every other book! Then the reward accomplishes some of my goals too!

  13. fun idea– my son(5) and i were reading The Wright 3 by blue Balliet today and loved the idea in the book where the kids traced their foot- put the book title and stuck them all over the classroom walls and ceilings– i think we're gonna do it to the playroom ceiling this summer!

  14. ooooh I love to read – will you adopt me???

  15. Wow – this is good! ANY excuse to buy children's books, lol!

  16. Cool idea! What kind of proof do you take them?