Looking for a way to get the kids to read during the summer? Here’s a fun tip to encourage summer reading by using an auction point system.
So the kids officially ended school on Friday and now they’ll be home for a couple of months for summer…eek! I have a summer routine that my kids have been doing for years that helps them retain what they’ve learned in school, however the hardest part of the routine is getting them to sit and read (more my boys than my girls). It’s so weird because they have no issues with sitting down for a few hours to work on math and English, but when it comes to reading, well, that’s a problem. So this year, I’m incorporating an idea from my kids’ elementary school to encourage summer reading and off the electronics.
The school reading program was pretty neat and I know that all of my kids really enjoyed it. It required the kids to keep track of how many pages they read and in turn use these points at a silent auction at the end of the year. The teacher would place all the items out on tables with sheets of paper and each child writes down their name and number of auction points they are willing to use to win that item. If someone outbids them, they can go back and put down a higher bid, but can only use the auction points that they’ve earned. They have to really think about how they spend their points, so there is a bit of strategy involved.
Encourage Summer Reading
How the encouraging reading program works (school version):
- Each book page read is worth 1 point and each child keeps track of his/her points on a tracking sheet (parents have to sign off). Grab the Weekly Reading Log Tracking sheet.
- At the end of year, the students bid on various items using their points.
- How do they get the items? The students pick out and write to various companies (see sample letter below), explain the reading program, and ask for donations to encourage reading throughout the year. Not all companies respond, but the majority do. If you are planning on doing this at home, you can purchase small items too. Here is a link to a “DEAD” companies list that won’t send items.
- The companies that send items are sent a thank you card written by the child that wrote to them and the items are kept till the end of the year for the auction.
- The kids use their book points to bid on various items and the highest bidder wins the item.
Here is a sample of what the letters and tracking sheets look like…
Auction Letter Example
This is a sample of the auction letter template the kids were given to write to various companies. This letter let the companies know about the program and asked if they would be willing to donate products.
Since this will be encouraging summer reading at home, writing a letter to companies can be skipped. Of course, the kids can always write letters to you. If the kids do this at the beginning of summer, it lets you know their interests. Use their letter to help you make a list of things that they might like to do or items they might want to have. Then, at the end of summer, have them use their accumulated auction points to bid on the listed items.
Weekly Reading Log Tracking Sheet
This is the weekly reading log tracking sheet to keep track of the books and pages read. Use the ‘total pages read’ as a cumulative pages total. By the end of the summer, it should reflect the total auction points earned, which should equal the total number of pages read.
Auction Items & Auction Bids Sheet
If you had the kids write a letter to you of things that they want to do or want to have, it should be easy to make an auction list. I made an Auction Items List sheet with four bid columns that can be used at the end of the summer reading.
My home version is a modified version of the school’s reading program. Instead of the kids writing to companies, I bought various gift cards, surprise grab bags, and listed field trips and places to eat out. If you want to make sure you’re kids are reading to earn points, there are a couple of sites on the web that you can get quizzes from – goodreads.com, softschools.com, and bookadventure.com.
On the left, you’ll write down what the kids can ‘bid’ on with their summer reading points. The kids will use the right side boxes to place their reading point bids to try to win what is listed. For example, child 1 bids on something using the first box and writes 50 points. Child 2 wants the same items and uses the second box to outbid child 1 writes 55 points. This can continue until one person gives up or uses all their points. Note: If you only have one child, they won’t have anyone to bid against, so make sure you add an auction point value to everything listed. You can use one of the right boxes to write in the point value and have your child mark the listed items they want to use their auction points for. The bidding is over when each child has no more auction points to use.
I like this school reading program because it gave the kids something to look forward to at the end of the year, promotes writing and math skills, and strategy/critical thinking skills. Since my daughter loves to bake, she bid on a lot of cooking items (she had a running “favorites” list) and had to battle it out to win items on her ‘wish list’. In the end, she won a cupcake holder, a cupcake baking pan, paring knives, a kitchen rolling-pin with cookie cutters, books, toys, stickers, and more.
Will you try this auction point system to encourage summer reading?