Years ago, the way one came by learning and entertainment was from listening: hearing storytellers that roamed the countryside, or educated scholars and preachers who held the secrets of the written word. Now, we have a plethora of electronic devices available, making curling up with a good book only one way to enjoy a good story.
(Scroll down for details on Noah’s Ark, Six Flags, Kwik Trip, Pizza Hut FREE reading incentive programs.)
While reading is a necessary skill for educational purposes, the love of reading can be a wonderful habit if you are able to read amazing, fun, exciting, lovely books that you just can’t put down!
You may encourage a love of reading in your children with a reading incentive program. I have listed here a few programs available to homeschoolers that can help you instill the genuine love of reading…
Reading that is more than a means to an end … reading that is an end in and of itself.
My children love to read. A LOT. I find myself saying things like, “Will you please put that book down? It’s time for dinner.” I credit programs like these with helping establish their reading habit, and hope that it stays with them as they get older.
Reading can be a joy, a time of peace, of adventure, of exploration, of just enjoying a good story.
Whether your kids already love to read or you would like to encourage them to read more, there are some neat ways to reward them for it. Like these, for example….. (Did I mention that participation in these programs is FREE?!)
(Scroll down for details on Noah’s Ark, Six Flags, Kwik Trip, Pizza Hut Book It! reading incentive programs.)
Please note: Most of the reading incentives are good up through 6th grade.
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges
As a homeschooler, you will no doubt find that one of your best learning resources is your local library. And here’s a super bonus — over the years we have found that librarians usually love homeschoolers!!! Many libraries are part of larger systems with online library catalogs offering books, periodicals, audio and video materials, and even electronic books!
Wisconsin Collaborative Summer Library Program
Each year the Division for Libraries and Technology coordinates a summer reading program on behalf of Wisconsin’s public libraries. Wisconsin is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP). Forty-six states are currently members of CSLP. Through CSLP Wisconsin libraries are able to purchase high quality materials at low cost needed for the program.
Check with your local library to find out the details.
Here Is How:
(PDF).Step 2. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store.
Find a Store.Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store… Enjoy reading!
The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge™ is a free online reading program for children.
Pizza Hut BOOK IT!
BOOK IT! motivates K through 6th graders to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with pizza!
Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! runs every school year from October through March. It’s been around since 1985 and currently reaches over 10 million students annually.
Most schools run the program, and homeschools are eligible, too!
It’s easy and flexible and free — the teacher (that’s you, if you are a homeschooler) sets a monthly reading goal for each child. As soon as your child meets the monthly goal, you give him or her a Reading Award Certificate which is redeemable for one free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut!
You can set goals based on reading ability. Number of books, number of pages, or number of minutes – they all work. BOOK IT! can also be used with your reading curriculum as added support for comprehension. Just add the BOOK IT! goal to your student’s reading. For children not reading independently, the goal can be set where a parent or others (like an older sibling) read to the child.
Homeschool Enrollment is taken online for individual families. The form requires Parent Educator Name and Mailing Address; and the number and age of children (student names are not required) in grades K-6 that you will be homeschooling for the school year. If you have more than 5 eligible children please contact Book It! at 1-800-426-6548 to place your order. You must be a parent homeschooling your child(ren) and the child(ren) must be Kindergarten through 6th grade (ages 5-12 years old) as of September 1st.
Each homeschool family must submit their own individual request to enroll in Book It! Homeschool Groups are not eligible. To speak to a representative, call the BOOK IT! Hotline at 1-800-426-6548 from 9:00 am – 4:00 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.
Enrollment for the School Year, opens in May. You should register by September 1st. If you are planning on moving, please wait to enroll until you have your new address. BOOK IT! materials will not forward to new addresses. Materials ship in September. Enrollment requests will be accepted after September on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
Check the Book It! website for book lists, activities, and tips to help get your child reading.
BOOK IT! certificates are only to be used to motivate reading.
Selling, purchasing, copying, altering, transferring or exchanging the BOOK IT! certificates is strictly prohibited and constitutes fraud.
One order per household will be accepted. Duplicate orders will be voided. If a change needs to be made to your order after you have submitted, please call 1-800-426-6548.
Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools had in the past coordinated a group enrollment for individual homeschool families to participate in the Dive Into Reading program. There is no pre-registration or enrollment needed to participate in the “Report Card Days.”
All students, K through College, bringing in a valid Report Card with at least one “A” grade in the 3rd or 4th quarter of the school year, get in FREE — on “Report Card Days.” Contact Noah’s Ark Waterpark for the valid dates and details.
Six Flags Read to Succeed is a FREE educational program that encourages kids to read for fun. Students in grades K-6 at participating schools and homeschools can earn free admission tickets to a Six Flags theme park.
Students who complete six hours of recreational, nonschool-related reading are eligible to earn a free admission ticket to a participating Six Flags theme park. Parent/Teachers whose homeschool students participate and complete the program are also eligible to earn a free ticket.
The Read To Succeed Program usually begins in December and has deadlines for registration in either December or January, with another deadline in February or March to complete the online tracking form. You will receive your tickets via email and will need to print them.
Six Flags has been sponsoring an annual Read To Succeed program since 1985. Personally, I credit this program with instilling a love of reading in my children. My oldest son read the “Lord of the Rings” series (way back before the movies) because of it. Back then, students had to read for 600 minutes (!) and you had to keep detailed handwritten logsheets. Also, it was limited to schools or homeschool groups within 150 miles of a Six Flags Park. Later, Six Flags teamed up with Discovery Education and opened the program up to individual homeschools and enlarged the area of eligibility to 250 miles.
Now, homeschool submissions are completed on an individual basis on the online tracking system.
Go to Six Flags Read to Succeed. Create a new account for your family. Choose the homeschool option and tell them how many children you’re homeschooling, which grades, etc. Not only will your homeschool K-6th grade children receive a free theme park pass, but the homeschool teacher receives a free pass as well! You’ll find when you register that there are several Six Flag locations across the country. After you register you’ll receive emails from Read to Succeed with further information on how to complete the program and turn in reading information.
Important notice: Please be aware that ticket vouchers are issued only for the students who participated in and completed the program and cannot be sold, given away, or used by another person. Lost, stolen, or destroyed tickets will not be replaced for any reason. (Forgive me for sounding like a broken recording about this. These tickets are a reward for reading — not an item that can be sold to the highest bidder.)
Kwik Trip Incorporated has a reading incentive program called KWIK BOOKS. This is for children from preschool through 6th grade. Younger children can be read to, and of course older ones do the reading on their own. Each student completing the reading goal for the month gets a certificate for a FREE Kitchen Cravings® Cheeseburger or Chicken Sandwich from any participating Kwik Trip location in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin!
Kwik Books is a free program and is open to all schools and homeschools. Each group enrolled in Kwik Books sets up their own reading goals and distributes reward certificates to students.
Individual homeschool families in southwest Wisconsin may participate in the Kwik Trip Kwik Books Reading Program through Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools Group.
Click here for 2014/2015 KWIK BOOKS Details for homeschoolers in SW Wisconsin. You can sign up at any time throughout the school year.
*** Please Note the change for 2014-15 from a slice of Cheese Mountain Pizza to a Kitchen Cravings® Cheeseburger or Chicken Sandwich. Other details remain unchanged.
If you are looking for information on having your school group participate, here’s what to do.
These are just a few reading incentive programs that reward kids with cool stuff/prizes. Many homeschoolers have participated inn these programs and have said it was well worth it! (I do not receive any compensation for promoting these. I just think they are neat!) There may be other programs that are only open to schools that are not listed.
These programs are homeschool friendly, not only by allowing homeschoolers to participate, but also because they are easily workable into your homeschool life. They also allow pre-readers to participate by counting read-aloud time. (I’ve always been impressed when older siblings do extra read-alouds to younger brothers and sisters. It makes it kind of like a double whammy bonus!)
Do you know of any other programs that encourage reading?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!