Monday, July 4, 2011

Reading Tokens & Tickets

We use to participate in a fantastic reading programme each year when we lived in the US. The library we frequented had a fantastic children's library and they use to put on quite the summer programme for them.

Here were not quite as lucky. Our library is very small and has little control over what books and products are brought into the library. For a while they had a Wii that people could come in and play and countless games to go with it. We lodged a complaint because we felt the money was ill spent, turned out the librarians were in complete agreement with us but it wasn't their doing.

The state also puts on a reading programme each year and as registered home educators we are sent paperwork. It was extremely pathetic this year with only one prize for the countless children who'd sign up. Now, don't get me wrong my kids read and do it for nothing and are happy with that, but it is fun to challenge them to do more, to read for longer stints, and to read books that might challenge them just a pinch.

I've been contemplating how to set up a fun reading challenge for my kids. We have done the read x books in the past and they get to pick an audio book. They really loved that, but it's a bit more challenging with one reading chapter books and the other fluctuating between the two. They lost a bit of their steam because it takes longer to earn those books.

While mulling around ideas I stumbled upon these premade tokens over at Brown Paper Packages.  I knew they'd be perfect for both boys and worked based on the idea I'd all ready been forming, but I was really torn on what they'd earn with the tokens. I wanted to make it worth their effort with costing a fortune.

This past Friday Mr S took the day off and we treated the boys to the movies. On our way back home we noticed the local book store {yes, the very one I'm always lamenting about & dreamed of buying out just so I could fire the current manager} was going out of business. We opted to pop in considering the signs stated huge discounts inside. We poked around and didn't come out with very many books, but we did pick up these two books of Reading Rewards. Not only were they decently priced, but they have 49 cheques inside with repeating and simple prizes!

In fact, many of the cheques cost absolutely nothing to give to the kids. Like the one above which offers a trip to the library. We often make weekly trips, but considering we own all the books we'll be using for school this year our trips won't be as urgent. Even with weekly trips, my kids go ga-ga for trips to the library. In fact, of all the tickets in the book to be had the one that got the loudest applaud was the one to stay up fifteen extra minutes reading! There was also a ticket in there for getting an extra chapter of a read aloud read to them. There was some evil grins being flashed around the table then.

I love quick and simple which is exactly what this turned out to be! On the inside covers we've made note of what each ticket is worth. The idea being that by the end of the week if the kids have read faithfully from their current books they could, if desired, cash in for a ticket. Of course, to get some they'll want to save up, which will help the cheques last longer too!


Sound Schooling said...

This is a wonderful idea, thanks for sharing. My kids read a lot so I stopped gifting them as it was costing me quite a bit. How can I find these cheques? Do you have the publishers name?

Kendra said...

I couldn't/can't find a publisher on them and the ISBN isn't pulling anything up. Oddly enough the website of the shop I purchased them at isn't bringing up anything either. The ISBN says1-921098-63-5

I suspect they were made specifically for Angus & Robertson because on the coupon that says a trip to the bookshop the book shop is called Angus & Robertson in the picture on the cheque. ;)

Learning in the Box said...

That is such a cool idea. What state are you in? I loved the premiers reading challenge we did when we lived in SA the kids loved receiving their medal's but WA is very disappointing in what they offer

Kendra said...

We're in Tas. Last year wasn't much better but they did have more then one prize! I couldn't believe they only offered up one prize this year. lol

Elise said...

I have just come over from An Almost Unschoolers blog where I saw your comment about bananas costing $14 a kilo. I am a fellow Aussie who was also thinking the same thing when I read the post about banana ice cream.

We are losing a few of our local bookstores too. Maybe a more holisitc approach could keep more of them in business. Reading programs with enticing incentives could perhaps help.

Kendra said...

here Here! If book stores did run reading incentive programmes I bet it would help. All though, Angus & Robertson is still available online and their website states it's business as usual and they now offer free shipping so I guess they've not shut up shop entirely.

No thanks to the rising cost of bananas I've depleted the small stash we had in the freezer! I usually just chuck the speckled ones in there so they don't rot and then we turn them into banana bread or the ice cream mentioned on the other blog!