We go to our base library once a week, and it seems as though every month or so, the librarians there hit me up to join the reading rewards program. As they are telling me about the grand prize, and how many books my children need to read, I glance behind them to see the large conglomeration of plastic boxes filled with
And every time they ask, I decline to join.
I don't want to start rewarding reading, because, ideally, reading should be rewarding in and of itself.
We made reading together a daily routine a long time ago, so spending time engrossed in a book is not something new to my children. We read books during the day as part of our homeschooling routine (SO MUCH is learned from books!) and we also read to our kids before bed every night. Our kids excitedly look through the pile of new library books we bring home with us, and sometimes, we'll find them huddled together around a book in their bedroom.
The last thing I want to do is to start giving them prizes for reading a set number of books. I don't want to associate reading with something they have to "get done," or something for which they deserve a prize.
So I'm trying to understand why those reading programs exist. I'm sure there are kids who don't like reading, but why is that? It is because reading is difficult for them and they've fallen behind the same reading level as their classmates? Is it because they have yet to find books that interest them and really suck them in? Or is it because they never saw the enjoyment of reading modeled in their home? It a lack of interest in reading our fault? Or theirs?
I'd love to hear your opinion on this, and your experiences with these programs (or not).