This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Scholastic . The opinions and text are all mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Last month I shared with you that in our effort to prevent that summer slide my kids have signed up for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Did you know that teachers spend four to six weeks re-teaching materials to students because of the “summer slide”—the learning losses that can occur when school is not in session? Yikes. This month I’m checking in with an update on how they’re doing and what we’re loving about the program!
My Kids’ Summer Reading Goals – Update!
When we signed up in May my kids each set their own reading goals. Lily, going into 4th grade, wanted to aim to read 20 minutes per day. This is where I often find her, cooling off with a book after running around outside!
Leo, going into 1st grade, wants to read one book on his own every day. The good thing for me is that not only does Leo love to read, but he loves to do what Lily’s doing. So when she takes her book breaks he takes one too. This is working out so well! 😉
So how are they doing? Great! Both kids are going way above and beyond the goals they set for themselves. This is my favorite part of this program: watching the minutes add up is motivation enough for them and I don’t ever have to say, “Time to get your reading in today, kids!” Lily is already up to 630 minutes and has unlocked some fun new badges, and Leo is up to 420 minutes and doing awesome!
How We Track Minutes
You can log into your child’s Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge account and record their reading minutes every day. NOTE: You can only log minutes once per day so wait until the end of the day when the kids are for sure done reading to record them.
I don’t log in with the kids daily. We travel a good bit over the summer so it’s not always something we remember. But, we are used to recording minutes on a sheet of paper for teachers during the school year, so we use the free printables for keeping track of reading minutes and then usually log in at the end of the week to record all of the minutes from the week. I keep it tacked up to a cork board in the kitchen and pack it up to take along when we’re on-the-go.
Confession time: Once I totally missed a week to record our minutes and unfortunately once the week is over you can’t go back to record minutes. But don’t worry about it. I just tacked those minutes onto the next week’s count. We are tracking the TOTAL minutes read, not really minutes per week so it all comes out in the wash. Just want to mention this in case you happen to miss a week too. No biggie! The kids can still rack up those reading minutes.
Give Your Kids A Choice!
This is the fun part about the program for them: the kids can choose whatever they’d like to read to count toward their daily tally. When they’re in school, a lot of the time the teachers are sending home books they have to read. Over the summer, it’s up to them! If you need some ideas, check out this list of book suggestions for every age group. Research shows kids’ favorite books are the ones they choose themselves.
“Power Up & Read” With Energizer
This summer’s Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge Theme is “Power Up & Read” sponsored by Energizer. They’re encouraging kids to read all summer long and unlock 12 original short stories by bestselling children’s authors as kids reach reading milestones. Every time we log in and record our minutes my kids are on the lookout for these bonuses!
Each of the authors has written a unique short story using the same opening sentence, which is, “I glanced over my shoulder to make sure that no one had followed me into the shadowy library, then took a deep breath and opened the glowing book…”
The authors include Blue Balliett, Patrik Henry Bass, Varian Johnson, Gordon Korman, Michael Northtrop, Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pierce, Roland Smith, R.L. Stine, Tui T. Sutherland, Lauren Tarshis, Wendy Wan-Long Shang and Jude Watson. Each story has a “read along” audio component, inviting kids of all ages and reading levels to enjoy these highly engaging stories.
Parents, There’s Stuff For Us, Too!
As a parent I love the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge parent section and all the resources for me. I’ve gotten some great ideas for books for both of my kids, some inspiration to keep them reading when we’re traveling, and a lot more:
- The parents site features new, daily tips for parents called “The Daily Digest.”
- Parents can enter weekly sweepstakes to win a “Power Up & Read Kit” and watch videos about summer reading activities to keep you “innovative” all summer long. The prize pack includes: Scholastic tote bag, water bottle, a copy of Reading Unbound by Jeffrey Wilhelm and Michael Smith, $10 gift certificate to Scholastic Store Online, Energizer® brand batteries, Scholastic books, and more.
- Parents can download free resources, including printables and booklists for kids of all ages.
How Do I Sign My Kids Up?
It’s so easy! Just go to the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge website to sign your kids up. You’ll need to do them each individually, and I love this part about the program: you don’t need to enter any identifiable information about your children to get their accounts open. They can choose fun fictitious names so it’s completely safe. If they choose to just log in and record their minutes, great! And if they want to, there are tons of fun resources online including games, chats, and fun ways to customize their profile.
The program runs from May 4 through September 4, 2015.
Where Can I Learn More?
There’s all the info you’d need on the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge website. Parents, I love this huge set of resources for us to find books our kids will love. Follow Scholastic on Twitter to stay in touch with other summer readers and get lots of reading encouragement!
When you’re out shopping be sure to look for those specially marked packages of Energizer batteries for your shot at winning the Energizer Instant Win Game! Power Up & Read with that bunny that never stops on the Energizer Facebook page, too.
Join me and my kids, Lily and Leo! We’re reading every day and having so much fun challenging ourselves to log those minutes!
Last year’s Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge landed a world record of 304,749,681 minutes logged. Let’s break it this year!