Reading Incentives

Kiki is a reader. The only way I could get her to stop reading would be to remove all printed matter from the house and then she’d be off at the neighbors begging for books. This is a good thing.

Link is just beginning to learn to read. His road to reading fluency is not going to be as easy as Kiki’s was. In an effort to make reading something Link wants to do, I’ve insituted a reading incentive program. In the interests of avoiding whining, I’ve included Kiki.

Link and Kiki each get to pick an Item they want to earn, a toy, or a game, basically whatever shiny thing currently has their eye. Then based on the price of the item we set up a chart with check boxes to mark off points. Each point is worth roughly 10 cents, so a $10 item is 100 points. Link gets one point for each 8 page phonics reader book he reads. Kiki gets one point for each 25 pages of a chapter book that she reads.

So far so good. My goal for both children is literacy and that can be gained by being read to, as well as by reading. Unfortunately finding time to sit down and read to Link or Kiki is very difficult. Invariably Gleek comes along and plops in the middle of the story. Then she gets bored because there are no pictures. Then she begins climbing the back of the couch and doing acrobatics over our heads. This always ends in her landing on us and somebody crying. Patches ends reading sessions even more quickly by climbing into the middle of the snuggle and then grabbing the book.

But tonight I had a brilliant idea. Tonight I turned to Kiki and told her she’d get triple points on anything that she read to Link. And I turned to Link and told him that however many points Kiki got, he’d get the same number. They both lit up and ran off to go read. It’s educational Judo! I have them teaching each other! I love it when I can manage stuff like this.

8 thoughts on “Reading Incentives”

  1. Bad mommy indeed. *scoffs, lightly, at the idea*

    Your original idea was good enough, and the later one is, as you say, brilliant. Now you need to get them to start playing strategy board games… 😉

  2. That’s the next step. First, Cosmic, Puerto Rico, Carcassonne. All that stuff.

    Well, RPG’s can come there too. Order doesn’t matter, as long as they all play all of them. 😉

  3. I have this feeling…

    That this will end up costing you a small fortune…

    But hey, getting kids to love to read? worth the price…

    With out books, I’d have topped a bell-tower with a rifle ages ago…

  4. Heh. We taught my seven-year old son how to play “Carcassonne.” He’s not bad, but has a tendency to go for the quick, small points.

  5. Kiki sounds like me…

    …I’m reliably informed the one thing I could say that would fill my parents with fear and dread (particularly if we were on a long car journey or some such) was “I haven’t got anything to reee-eeead! *wah!*” 🙂

  6. Re: I have this feeling…

    So far the incentive plan has cost less than $5 a month per child. I don’t push them to read. I occasionally remind them that it is an option, but the point of the plan is to motivate them so that they come to me about reading. It works in spurts and that’s fine.

  7. Re: I have this feeling…

    That is so cool. Reading – what a great gift for life!

    Has Kiki asked you yet about getting points for reading to Glink? 🙂

    Glink’s about at the age my husband was when he was taught to read. His older sister and her best friend decided to play School over the summer, and a younger brother who couldn’t get away was the perfect “student”. He’s been in love with reading ever since.

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