Summer Reading Programme and Motivators

09 Jun

So, why will we not be participating in the summer reading programme?

Well, I heard a comment by Mary Hood and it really rang true to me.

These sorts of external motivators really do only one thing: they teach kids that without a reward, reading isn’t worth doing. Kids do it for the reward, not for the love of reading. A child who already loves to read will possibly, when the carrots and sticks are removed, forget that he loved to read before all of that.

We don’t give our kids a reward for eating their ice cream, going to the park, or having fun, do we? We don’t reward our kids for doing things they love…we often reward for doing things they don’t want to do. Do we really want to teach our kids that reading needs to be rewarded?

That’s every homeschooling parent’s worst nightmare.

Even for the reluctant reader, they will get the same message. A reluctant reader needs 3 things: to be provided with books he/she is interested in, to be read to and see his/her parents enjoying reading, and to not be pressured.

I’ve come to dislike contrived, external motivators altogether. I think life provides enough naturally-occurring motivators.

We love the library…but will be avoiding the summer reading programme like school.


3 responses to “Summer Reading Programme and Motivators

  1. Fairiemom

    June 12, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    That is a very interesting way of looking at it and it is quite ironic that I found it this morning as I was on-line looking for lists of Summer Reading books for my 10 yr. old DD! Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  2. Misti

    June 30, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks for putting that so succinctly, Michelle!

  3. Diana

    July 29, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I hadn’t thought about it like that. We’re using the reading program this summer to encourage ds to practice his reading. Right now it’s so much work that it’s not fun. But he loves the books that are read aloud. I definitely don’t want him losing that love of reading!


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