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How many books do you read in one day?


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#1 Pintosrock

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 09:08 AM

We started our library's summer reading program yesterday. After the first day, we are already at the first prize. (Prizes when you read 7, 14, and 21 books, for children 0-5 years old)

Does this seem ridiculously low to anyone else? Over the two months, you'd have to average one book every three days. I understand that they want to make it achievable, but this seems like very low expectations.

On a bad day, we read two books before "naptime" and two before bed. We usually read ~8 be books throughout the day. I don't think we are phenomenal readers... Yet we blew through their 1000 Books Before Kindergarten in 3 months. How many books do you read to your preschooler in a day?

We are already leaning towards homeschooling. Is this a sign of low expectations that will continue into the public schools, or am I reading too much into this?
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#2 regentrude

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 09:16 AM

These reading programs are designed to encourage families to read who would not otherwise do so.

A family with a strong reading culture is not the target audience, because they'd read anyway an don't need a program with prizes.

We found this with all reading programs and reading in school.

 

 

 


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#3 wendyroo

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 09:27 AM

I boycott our library's summer "reading" program, because it doesn't has much to do with reading at all any more.  

 

In order to get the prize (a junky book that I would not want to own anyway), kids need to engage in a "literacy activity" for 20 minutes a day, for 30 days over the summer.  It's not that I am opposed to all of the activities (being read to and writing a letter clearly have value), but some of them seem to veer very far from "reading": singing a song, playing an imaginative game, talking, playing with play dough, etc.

 

I would feel absolutely ridiculous recording on their little sheet that yes, my children managed to engage in 20 minutes of screen free activity a day.  Let's remember, TALKING and PLAYING are two of the countable activities, so the bar is set very, very low!!

 

Wendy



#4 SKL

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 09:31 AM

It depends a lot on the child.  Some kids like being read to a lot more than others.  Some kids want to hear the same damn book read to them 100 times.  :p

 

It also depends on how swamped the parent is with other things.  And I'm assuming people aren't counting the time their kids spend with books / being read to in daycare/preschool.

 

When my younger kid was 4 she herself read about a thousand kiddy books over a 3 month period.  She attacked them by the pile multiple times per day.  But my other kid's vision problems made her actually avoid looking at books.  She would up and walk away if I pulled out a book to read.  About age 5 she started to be interested in following along.  Doesn't mean I didn't ever do books with her, but it was based on what she could tolerate.


Edited by SKL, 11 June 2017 - 09:40 AM.

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#5 SKL

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 09:37 AM

I don't recall bothering with the summer reading program before both of my kids could read their own books.

 

We do sign up each year because my kids like to do that.  For my reluctant reader, a little motivation help isn't a bad thing.


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#6 JMG221

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 12:41 PM

Our librarians always encourage parents to set up appropriate goals for their own family. For my K aged daughter she gets to check off 1 book for every 15 minutes of independent reading (very challenging still) and 30 minutes of listening to me read. My 2 year old

#7 fralala

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 01:24 PM

We don't do summer reading programs for this reason. No need to incentivize reading for my kids, and if we're going to spend time creating logs and giving prizes, it's going to be for something they really need work on, like being consistently courteous and respectful to one another, or doing their chores without complaint. We all have our weaknesses, so maybe when I think How can that mother manage to go for days without reading to her preschooler? she is thinking How can that mother not spend a little more time teaching her children manners and style?

 

These programs and the schools are actually doing a pretty awesome job, though, of acculturating people to the idea of reading as family activity. Our extended family culture is not one in which this has traditionally played a role (partially because of class, partially because of country of origin) and it is really cool to see my cousins who were never read to themselves as children enthusiastically making library trips and reading a big part of their children's lives! Hopefully those 7 books are getting them into a habit they find enjoyable.


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#8 winterbaby

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 08:32 PM

My family have always been voracious readers, and we've always participated in library reading programs. I see it as a harmless community-based affirmation of the thing we happen to be into, and though yes the amount you're supposed to read is far below what we do routinely, I can't imagine getting worked up about it. Nor is our relationship to reading so fragile that it would be ruined by nice librarian ladies offering those much-maligned external rewards. When I was a kid we had a grand old time with it when the reward was simple pride/acknowledgement, or I guess a bookmark, and where we are now the reward is the kid's choice from a selection of nice books.  Children's librarians absolutely love strong reading families, and being too good for that relationship is a stance that's hard for me to understand.

 

Also, we've gone several generations of voracious independent reading from kindergarten through old age without the practice of reading little ones every possible picture book available. It's nice if you've got the time and it's what you're into, but I doubt the necessity of constantly exposing to preschoolers to innumerable new titles, as opposed to dwelling meaningfully in the favorites. Counting only new titles, as I think you're supposed to for library reading programs, one every three days is actually fairly ambitious. Even a thousand books before kindergarten (who has time to keep score???) is about one every two days.

 

I would not say the public schools have low expectations. Yes, there are loads of problems with the public schools, but it's not as simple as that. A lot of people on here have actually struggled with the fact that at this point in history, the writing expectations in elementary tend to be too high, to the point of developmental inappropriateness. In other areas, such as math and reading, the expectations are generally sound. Expectations for free reading at home vary from they don't bother to say anything about it up to "20 minutes a night." But really, even if one has a kid like mine who reads two to three hours a night, I don't think it would be desireable to have "read two hours a night" be a school requirement.


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#9 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 11:11 PM

My family have always been voracious readers, and we've always participated in library reading programs. I see it as a harmless community-based affirmation of the thing we happen to be into, and though yes the amount you're supposed to read is far below what we do routinely, I can't imagine getting worked up about it. Nor is our relationship to reading so fragile that it would be ruined by nice librarian ladies offering those much-maligned external rewards. When I was a kid we had a grand old time with it when the reward was simple pride/acknowledgement, or I guess a bookmark, and where we are now the reward is the kid's choice from a selection of nice books. Children's librarians absolutely love strong reading families, and being too good for that relationship is a stance that's hard for me to understand.

Also, we've gone several generations of voracious independent reading from kindergarten through old age without the practice of reading little ones every possible picture book available. It's nice if you've got the time and it's what you're into, but I doubt the necessity of constantly exposing to preschoolers to innumerable new titles, as opposed to dwelling meaningfully in the favorites. Counting only new titles, as I think you're supposed to for library reading programs, one every three days is actually fairly ambitious. Even a thousand books before kindergarten (who has time to keep score???) is about one every two days.

I would not say the public schools have low expectations. Yes, there are loads of problems with the public schools, but it's not as simple as that. A lot of people on here have actually struggled with the fact that at this point in history, the writing expectations in elementary tend to be too high, to the point of developmental inappropriateness. In other areas, such as math and reading, the expectations are generally sound. Expectations for free reading at home vary from they don't bother to say anything about it up to "20 minutes a night." But really, even if one has a kid like mine who reads two to three hours a night, I don't think it would be desireable to have "read two hours a night" be a school requirement.


This exactly. We LOVE books and we also love our summer reading programs. To me they are a fun part of the summer routine.

Our library does have literacy activities on their summer reading for 0-5 year olds. They're activities to build pre-reading skills such as rhyming and phonemic awareness. Nursery rhymes and singing songs can be great ways to do this. They all center around literacy though and much more goes into literacy than reading words.

I also agree that these programs are targeted at those populations that need to be encouraged to read throughout the summer.

Our local book stores also offer excellent programs that are geared more towards K+. They have bingo cards that encourage kids to read a wide variety of books. Our bingo cards (from two bookstores) have squares that say "read a book about someone who looks different than you" "read a book about a differently abled person" "read a fantasy book" "read a biography" etc. it really makes kids read broadly over the summer.

My kids read all of the time and the incentives in the summer are just for fun and to connect with our community.
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#10 Ellie

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 11:35 PM

We started our library's summer reading program yesterday. After the first day, we are already at the first prize. (Prizes when you read 7, 14, and 21 books, for children 0-5 years old)

Does this seem ridiculously low to anyone else? Over the two months, you'd have to average one book every three days. I understand that they want to make it achievable, but this seems like very low expectations.

On a bad day, we read two books before "naptime" and two before bed. We usually read ~8 be books throughout the day. I don't think we are phenomenal readers... Yet we blew through their 1000 Books Before Kindergarten in 3 months. How many books do you read to your preschooler in a day?

We are already leaning towards homeschooling. Is this a sign of low expectations that will continue into the public schools, or am I reading too much into this?

 

It's just for summer fun. :-)

 

Once my children were ready for juvenile novels, I read aloud *one chapter a day,* right after lunch, from a good book. No bedtime reading (because I wanted all of us to be awake, lol). If the children wanted to read anything more than that, they had to do it on their own. :-)

 

So, yeah, compared to *me,* you are phenomenal readers. :-)


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#11 Epicurean

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:37 AM

Is this a sign of low expectations that will continue into the public schools?


In a word, yes.
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#12 Renai

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:46 AM

I boycott our library's summer "reading" program, because it doesn't has much to do with reading at all any more.

In order to get the prize (a junky book that I would not want to own anyway), kids need to engage in a "literacy activity" for 20 minutes a day, for 30 days over the summer. It's not that I am opposed to all of the activities (being read to and writing a letter clearly have value), but some of them seem to veer very far from "reading": singing a song, playing an imaginative game, talking, playing with play dough, etc.

I would feel absolutely ridiculous recording on their little sheet that yes, my children managed to engage in 20 minutes of screen free activity a day. Let's remember, TALKING and PLAYING are two of the countable activities, so the bar is set very, very low!!

Wendy

Literacy activities encompass more than just reading. Singing a song has to do with phonemic awareness skills such as rhyming; imaginative play can cover vocabulary, narrating a story (beginning, middle, end), and making predictions in a story; playing with play dough helps build the muscles for writing; talking (and listening) helps build listening skills and vocabulary (read about the 30 million word gap).

All of these are literacy - pre-reading skills. These suggestions are important, yet simple, and many people wouldn't consider them literacy activities until they see it written down. (And even then don't understand what they have to do with literacy.) I think it reflects more on our society in general, rather than the public schools in particular.

 

ETA to change "3 million to 30"


Edited by Renai, 12 June 2017 - 12:04 PM.

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#13 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:24 AM

Literacy activities encompass more than just reading. Singing a song has to do with phonemic awareness skills such as rhyming; imaginative play can cover vocabulary, narrating a story (beginning, middle, end), and making predictions in a story; playing with play dough helps build the muscles for writing; talking (and listening) helps build listening skills and vocabulary (read about the 3 million word gap).

All of these are literacy - pre-reading skills. These suggestions are important, yet simple, and many people wouldn't consider them literacy activities until they see it written down. (And even then don't understand what they have to do with literacy.) I think it reflects more on our society in general, rather than the public schools in particular.


Exactly! Literacy skills encompass so much more than just picking up a book.

#14 Josh Blade

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:35 AM

I boycott our library's summer "reading" program, because it doesn't has much to do with reading at all any more.  

 

In order to get the prize (a junky book that I would not want to own anyway), kids need to engage in a "literacy activity" for 20 minutes a day, for 30 days over the summer.  It's not that I am opposed to all of the activities (being read to and writing a letter clearly have value), but some of them seem to veer very far from "reading": singing a song, playing an imaginative game, talking, playing with play dough, etc.

 

I would feel absolutely ridiculous recording on their little sheet that yes, my children managed to engage in 20 minutes of screen free activity a day.  Let's remember, TALKING and PLAYING are two of the countable activities, so the bar is set very, very low!!

 

Wendy

 

We went to the library a week or so ago to get our daughter's first chapter books to try out on her own (well really we take turns reading a page each at night as she's still intimidated by so many words on one page compared to picture books). While we were there, my wife went to check out their summer reading program. The librarian asked what grade our daughter is in. My wife said we home school and aren't really sure about a grade, but she's an excellent reader (our daughter was sitting at a table reading me a book in sight of the librarian at this point). She then asked how old our daughter is (4) and said they had to go by age.

 

Their summer reading program for 4-5 year olds included no actual reading. It was basically what you described. Singing songs, talking about colors, numbers, the alphabet etc. I'm sure it would have been a good program for kids that needed it, but we were looking for something that would challenge our daughter to try new things or have something to work toward. 

 

I'm sure it's a great set of activities for motivating kids/families that might not be doing those things already / have mastered them, but it was silly for our situation. 



#15 winterbaby

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:45 AM

Yeah, four year olds aren't normally reading independently.

 

As a gifted kid from a gifted family myself, I'm just not comprehending the idea of being put out that programs designed to involve the whole community aren't targeted for the gifted. Or the surprise (really?) that a program designed for summer - the fun, outdoors-oriented season - isn't full of academic challenge.


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#16 wendyroo

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:50 AM

We went to the library a week or so ago to get our daughter's first chapter books to try out on her own (well really we take turns reading a page each at night as she's still intimidated by so many words on one page compared to picture books). While we were there, my wife went to check out their summer reading program. The librarian asked what grade our daughter is in. My wife said we home school and aren't really sure about a grade, but she's an excellent reader (our daughter was sitting at a table reading me a book in sight of the librarian at this point). She then asked how old our daughter is (4) and said they had to go by age.

 

Their summer reading program for 4-5 year olds included no actual reading. It was basically what you described. Singing songs, talking about colors, numbers, the alphabet etc. I'm sure it would have been a good program for kids that needed it, but we were looking for something that would challenge our daughter to try new things or have something to work toward. 

 

I'm sure it's a great set of activities for motivating kids/families that might not be doing those things already / have mastered them, but it was silly for our situation. 

 

Exactly.  I am obviously not opposed to my kids singing, playing, putting on puppet shows, etc, but that is not what I am looking for in a summer reading program.  My kids are full fledged readers, there is no reason to take several giant leaps backwards and start rewarding them for singing the alphabet song.  

 

I am already hesitant about incentivizing reading rather than letting it be its own reward.  But to incentivize playing?  singing?  making crafts?  Should we also start giving out stickers when kids successfully eat ice cream cones?

 

If what the library really wants is for kids to do more activities that don't involve screens, then I think that is what they should say.  Call if the screen free reward program and offer a prize for every 50 hours of screen-free play time.

 

Wendy


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#17 SKL

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:59 AM

I also think the "requirements" and rewards are kind of wimpy in our local program, but they get the kids to come into the library.  Once that happens, there is a domino effect.

 

When I was a kid 100 years ago, the summer reading program required 10 grade-level books, and the reward for finishing 10 books was inclusion in a short "party" where koolaid and cookies were consumed.  There was no reward for more than 10 books.  We did have to go personally to the librarian after reading each book and tell her what the book was about.  The program was for school-aged kids.  What did it accomplish?  Well, I spent time perusing the shelves and getting all kinds of ideas about what I might like to read or learn more about in the future.  I discovered that the library was a nice refuge from the sun and heat and hyperactivity that reigned outside.  Ultimately I probably read more and better books than I would otherwise have throughout the year.

 

That said, I spent most of my summers playing.  To us, that was the whole point of summer vacation.  "No more pencils, no more books ... school's out for summer!"


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#18 regentrude

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:10 AM

Exactly.  I am obviously not opposed to my kids singing, playing, putting on puppet shows, etc, but that is not what I am looking for in a summer reading program.  My kids are full fledged readers, there is no reason to take several giant leaps backwards and start rewarding them for singing the alphabet song.  

 

I am already hesitant about incentivizing reading rather than letting it be its own reward.  But to incentivize playing?  singing?  making crafts?  Should we also start giving out stickers when kids successfully eat ice cream cones?

 

I think those rewards are more designed to get the parents to interact with their children.

Many parents spend little one-on-one time with their kids. The kid will get the reward, but ultimately this is designed to change the parents' behavior.

 

Your family may not need it, but unfortunately, there are plenty who do. And they are the target audience for community programs like this - because they need it. You don't.

 

ETA: Check out the 30 million word gap. Many parents don't TALK to their kids.


Edited by regentrude, 12 June 2017 - 11:12 AM.

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#19 Pintosrock

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:29 AM

Oh goodness, I didn't mean to be critical of library programs! I love libraries, it's just the expectations that bother me.

Let my try to explain my thinking.

I saw the minimalist reading program and thought to myself, is this "normal?" Are preschoolers really only expected to hear one book every three days? As an avid reader, that horrified me. I thought, no, they're just trying to encourage reading in addition to the other billion summer activities that kids are involved in.

Then I started second guessing myself. Last year, I pulled Dd out of a private, well respected preschool (with the price tag to show it!) because they did not allow books in the three-year-old class, citing regulations requiring everything to be sanitized.

If preschools don't allow books in the classroom, and libraries expect so little summer reading... then what is our world coming to?!

Ok, I'm going to go hide in my little world and go read Dd more stories.

Except I really shouldn't. I don't want Dd to live in THAT world. But changing the world... Oh! It would be so much easier if you guys tell me I'm fretting for nothing and kids really do read.
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#20 regentrude

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:33 AM

! It would be so much easier if you guys tell me I'm fretting for nothing and kids really do read.

 

Plenty of kids read. Lots of parents read with their kids. Many families care about early childhood education.

 

But then there are those who don't, and parents not talking to their pre-school age children causes a large gap and puts those kids at a disadvantage before they even start school. And they are the target audience here.



#21 winterbaby

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:42 AM

I think it's a gross overstatement to say that the programs are focused on people who wouldn't normally read at all, let alone those poor souls who for some reason don't even speak to their kids all that much. How much contact do they even have with the library system? I just think the librarians, not being educators as such nor child development experts, probably guesstimate what would be a reasonable range of reading targets to be doable, but interesting, for as much of the community as possible. Some people will find that range doesn't perfectly reflect their family's experience of reading. Big deal. The idea of libraries as centers of remediation for the semi-literate underclass, beneath the notice of real readers, really doesn't match my experience.


Edited by winterbaby, 12 June 2017 - 11:50 AM.


#22 Renai

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:49 AM

I think those rewards are more designed to get the parents to interact with their children.

Many parents spend little one-on-one time with their kids. The kid will get the reward, but ultimately this is designed to change the parents' behavior.

 

Your family may not need it, but unfortunately, there are plenty who do. And they are the target audience for community programs like this - because they need it. You don't.

 

ETA: Check out the 30 million word gap. Many parents don't TALK to their kids.

 

THIS. I missed a zero in my post. And that gap is before kids start school.

 

I still remember a prek student I had in my class that barely spoke. We have conferences within the first 30 days of school starting, and it came out that, basically, they rarely spoke at home because dad was a quiet guy and mom didn't think she had anything worthwhile to say, and he was an only child. I just told the mom to talk to him as she cleaned houses, what she uses, why, whatever, anything, just narrating what she was doing as she goes about the day. Within a few weeks, the kid was finally comfortable to start talking in class. Her just talking to her kid made a big difference. (and I know it was more of the mom conversation than the prek program itself by watching and listening to his play)

 

Our library program is for ages 1-12, or something like that. It is 6 books or 6 chapters a week, read to or read alone. We go way over each week, but it is our habit, and Gymnast enjoys getting the mood pencils, erasers, and coupons for swimming or ice cream as much as she likes to get books to check out. After the 3rd log, each subsequent log earns an entry to win a bike (one for a girl, one for boy, at each of the 3 branches). I'm using the reading program as an incentive for her to read more, as she doesn't have the confidence that she is a reader. 

 

And I agree that it is also to help parents be more involved in reading behaviors, that's why they start the program for such early ages. As we know, inculcating positive reading behaviors starts young. Our libraries don't give specific activities other than reading, though.


Edited by Renai, 12 June 2017 - 11:51 AM.

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#23 regentrude

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:58 AM

I think it's a gross overstatement to say that the programs are focused on people who wouldn't normally read at all, let alone those poor souls who for some reason don't even speak to their kids all that much. How much contact do they even have with the library system? I just think the librarians, not being educators as such nor child development experts, probably guesstimate what would be a reasonable range of reading targets to be doable, but interesting, for as much of the community as possible. Some people will find that range doesn't perfectly reflect their family's experience of reading. Big deal. The idea of libraries as centers of remediation for the semi-literate underclass, beneath the notice of real readers, really doesn't match my experience.

 

But an incentive for reading one picture book every three days can only be geared towards families who do not normally read. 

 

You don't incentivise things people do anyway.

 

Just as employer incentives to walk by giving prizes for reaching step counts are geared towards people who would not otherwise walk. My employer has currently a "challenge" of averaging 5,000 steps per day for a month. That has to be aimed at people who don't walk at all.


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#24 Renai

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:01 PM

Oh goodness, I didn't mean to be critical of library programs! I love libraries, it's just the expectations that bother me.

Let my try to explain my thinking.

I saw the minimalist reading program and thought to myself, is this "normal?" Are preschoolers really only expected to hear one book every three days? As an avid reader, that horrified me. I thought, no, they're just trying to encourage reading in addition to the other billion summer activities that kids are involved in.

Then I started second guessing myself. Last year, I pulled Dd out of a private, well respected preschool (with the price tag to show it!) because they did not allow books in the three-year-old class, citing regulations requiring everything to be sanitized.

If preschools don't allow books in the classroom, and libraries expect so little summer reading... then what is our world coming to?!

Ok, I'm going to go hide in my little world and go read Dd more stories.

Except I really shouldn't. I don't want Dd to live in THAT world. But changing the world... Oh! It would be so much easier if you guys tell me I'm fretting for nothing and kids really do read.

 

Hmmm. Maybe they don't expect preschoolers to only hear so few stories, but think that in today's busy society reading may be pushed to the side. Or, maybe if they shoot for the minimum, more people will reach it. I know cultures in which reading books is not a regular thing (some don't have a written alphabet, even, so it's just not part of the culture. I told my families that oral storytelling counted.) I'm just trying to brainstorm. Don't let the perceived low expectations of a summer reading program make you fret. :D Kids really do read. They are just trying to reach the greatest number of people.

 

That private preschool is ridiculous. I've never heard a preschool not have books because of sanitation reasons. Sheesh. Does that mean they didn't even pull books down for the teacher to read to them daily and put them back up? I'm going to assume that rule is rare. At least, I hope so. I can't wrap my brain around that rule.



#25 Arcadia

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:10 PM

Does this seem ridiculously low to anyone else? Over the two months, you'd have to average one book every three days. I understand that they want to make it achievable, but this seems like very low expectations.

I read zero because I hate read alouds. I compensated by bringing my kids to storytimes at various bookstores when they were newborn to 5 years old.

How many books a day depends on what book you or anyone else is reading to your child. For 3 years old, the library and bookstores typically read the Mo Willems books or Dr Seuss books. My kids at that age had sat through Polar Express, Christmas Carol during Christmas story time at the bookstore and those took a longer time for the person doing the reading to read through than Don't let the Pigeon drive the bus or Green Eggs and Ham for example. My husband chose to read Kidnapped to our kids as bedtime reading when they were that age and it took a few days.

One of my local library thankfully gave Barnes & Noble $5 gift card as a summer reading prize. That was a lot better than picking a book from the book prize pile when my kids had finished all they books in that pile that they wanted to read all the way to the books the high school kids get to choose. They allowed my kids to pick any level since my older picked 1984 and Animal Farm when he was much younger and the librarians knew he could read those.

The academic style preschool my oldest attended had plenty of story books in each classroom. They are to stay in the classroom due to nut and peanut allergies. So no storybooks from home and no taking of story books out of the classroom. My kid understood about no sharing of books and stationary because his preschool class had three with severe nut allergies.

#26 winterbaby

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:12 PM

But an incentive for reading one picture book every three days can only be geared towards families who do not normally read. 

 

You don't incentivise things people do anyway.

 

Just as employer incentives to walk by giving prizes for reaching step counts are geared towards people who would not otherwise walk. My employer has currently a "challenge" of averaging 5,000 steps per day for a month. That has to be aimed at people who don't walk at all.

 

Like I said, my understanding of library reading programs is that the "number of books" is supposed to be separate titles, that one hasn't read before. We certainly do normally read, but that doesn't mean I would necessarily be introducing a couple of brand new titles a week, week in week out, as a matter of course. Or, that might be about what I did; I dunno. Not so far off the mark that I would scoff at it, though. My family has had simple fun accepting rewards for what we would have been doing anyway - I always experienced the library as community affirmation of our values, not something to turn my nose up at because I read so much more than everyone else. (Do I? Are all those thousands of books my particular family will never get to just for show?) In other community activities, such as sports, don't parents normally allow their gifted children to shine, rather than taking their ball and going home huffing that it's not up to their level? Do soccer moms refuse their kid the trophy or whatever's given out because "that's only for kids who would never exercise otherwise"?



#27 SKL

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:37 PM

Again, remember that many preschoolers want/need to hear the same book over and over.  It is very reasonable that a preschooler does not fully experience more than new 3 books per week.

 

When I was a preschooler, we didn't go to the library.  We had a collection of books, probably above average for those days, but most here would consider it paltry.  But they were good quality books, and we really used them in depth.  Examined the elaborate artwork, imagined alternate endings, etc.  The number of books is not that important in my opinion, but rather the quality of the experience / involvement with the books.

 

As for preschool/daycare, I know they had plenty of books in my kids' preschool, both owned and borrowed from the library.  I don't think there was any hang-up about sanitizing them.  :p  They read multiple books to the kids every day, and did plenty of other "literacy" activities, so if some of the parents didn't add a pile of books onto that, there would be no great harm in that.


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#28 SKL

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:42 PM

At 5yo my kids were enjoying a read-aloud of The Hobbit, courtesy of their aunt.  In the time it took to get through that book, they could have listened to hundreds of shorter ones.  So there is going to be a broad range of what it means to "read 1 book."


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#29 fralala

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:58 PM

Our summer reading program allows you to log each separate reading, not each separate book. Do others really not allow you to count the books children reread? That seems to be a misunderstanding of what is valuable about the reading experience, and not just for preschoolers.

 

I like the Homeschool Buyer's Coop reading program, entering time spent reading, except-- time spent reading, for us, is not time. That is the wonderful thing about reading. It transports you. Again, this seems most appropriate for people who view reading as a penalty or duty-- yes, those who get lost in books, or read a stack, or have books lying all over the house and in the car and strollers are going to find it more burdensome than fun if the goal is to log every single title, or every single time read, or every single hour. Maybe if we do want to participate, we should think of the log as a log of our 7 favorite books we read all summer, or the 7 we'd recommend to others, and we can think that perhaps other people are doing the same, and that librarians- didn't want the task of logging to become so burdensome that it discouraged people from participating (in addition to not wanting to make the goals unattainable for those who are in the habit of spending time with their kids doing other stuff).



#30 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 01:15 PM

We went to the library a week or so ago to get our daughter's first chapter books to try out on her own (well really we take turns reading a page each at night as she's still intimidated by so many words on one page compared to picture books). While we were there, my wife went to check out their summer reading program. The librarian asked what grade our daughter is in. My wife said we home school and aren't really sure about a grade, but she's an excellent reader (our daughter was sitting at a table reading me a book in sight of the librarian at this point). She then asked how old our daughter is (4) and said they had to go by age.

Their summer reading program for 4-5 year olds included no actual reading. It was basically what you described. Singing songs, talking about colors, numbers, the alphabet etc. I'm sure it would have been a good program for kids that needed it, but we were looking for something that would challenge our daughter to try new things or have something to work toward.

I'm sure it's a great set of activities for motivating kids/families that might not be doing those things already / have mastered them, but it was silly for our situation.


I would go back with a different librarian and ask to go by grade. Just say she's in K. That's what we did last year for our daughter who was reading in prek. It's worth a shot. Check out independent bookstores. They often have better programs.

#31 winterbaby

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 01:23 PM

I've only ever done it with independent readers, and on that level it's always been a list of titles. That it be a new title to you that summer may be something the librarian said to me as a kid that just stuck in my mind. But I always thought the list of titles was supposed to be, well, a list of titles. I have no idea how it would work with preschoolers. But I think it's going too far to assume that the typical parent out of the population who turn up at the library in the first place needs prompting to do seven readings, period, over the whole summer. If that is the idea then yeah that's a pretty low bar. But even so, I would just interpret that as a misjudgment on the library's part, rather than some sort of serious signal that library programs are, like, not for my kind or something. If they are going to err I don't mind it being in that direction because why would you want the occasional family of marginal readers who do show up, perhaps hoping to do better by their kids than their own parents did, to receive a signal that the library and its programs are only for those who are far ahead of them? It's for everyone, and I'm pretty sure whatever way it's set up is a good faith effort to make it seem so.



#32 happysmileylady

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 01:59 PM

We struggle to get reading in during the summer. We are busy. For example, today, we did some continued cleaning from yesterday (we did a bunch of reorganizing and decluttering yesterday) after breakfast. Then I had a dentist appointment so mom came to watch the kids and she took the kids to Mickey Ds for lunch. When I got back we decorated some shirts for the 5k we are doing later in the month. Then DD6 has therapy, after therapy we will need to eat a quick light dinner then get ready for DD8s ball game. Then we will come back and eat the regular dinner and we might squeeze in one story before bed, but I will be pretty whipped by then, ready to vegetate and have a small adult beverage.

Then tomorrow we have more therapy, more decorating, I need to get some plants potted before they die, and we have more decluttering to do. And then when you add in things like playing in the kiddy pool in the backyard, going to the splash pad, spending nights with grandma, fishing with daddy etc etc...summers are full of stuff. So some days, we might read 2 or 3 or 10 books/stories. But then we might go several days before we read again.
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#33 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:57 PM

Oh goodness, I didn't mean to be critical of library programs! I love libraries, it's just the expectations that bother me.

Let my try to explain my thinking.

I saw the minimalist reading program and thought to myself, is this "normal?" Are preschoolers really only expected to hear one book every three days? As an avid reader, that horrified me. I thought, no, they're just trying to encourage reading in addition to the other billion summer activities that kids are involved in.

Then I started second guessing myself. Last year, I pulled Dd out of a private, well respected preschool (with the price tag to show it!) because they did not allow books in the three-year-old class, citing regulations requiring everything to be sanitized.

If preschools don't allow books in the classroom, and libraries expect so little summer reading... then what is our world coming to?!

Ok, I'm going to go hide in my little world and go read Dd more stories.

Except I really shouldn't. I don't want Dd to live in THAT world. But changing the world... Oh! It would be so much easier if you guys tell me I'm fretting for nothing and kids really do read.


That sounds like a horrible school. I've never heard of such a policy any where. I know at my work (a transitional housing program) they require everything to be heat santized, but it's a homeless shelter and there's bed bug issues. A preschool? Insane. I can assure you that's not normal.

#34 SKL

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 04:08 PM

I keep wanting to answer the OP's original question, but it seems too complicated.

 

My kids' life between ages 0 and 5 ranged from foster care in a developing country, to full-time b&m 1st grade.  Somewhere in between there were times when we read at least 10 books per day, and other times when I was too swamped to read at all.  I did always have other caregivers who were holding up the literacy side, even when I couldn't.  And we did many cool things that beat out books in educational value.


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#35 Excelsior! Academy

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 04:22 PM

Yes, its low.  

 

Our library has done their summer reading goals different ways for different years. My favorite was the year one could choose 8 hours, 8 books or 8 something else, (I can't remember!!).  I really liked the hours log for my older kiddos, but it was still an easily obtainable goal for voracious readers.  Now the logging in process is all online and a pain for families with several children.  The prizes are no longer things we would like or use.  Our library used to give things like a free ice cream cone or sandwich meal from Whataburger with an entry for a bigger prize after each goal was earned, then the prizes became a coupon book with  buy one get one free type junk in it. It has been years since we participated, so maybe they've changed, but its was no longer worth it when we stopped.


Edited by Excelsior! Academy, 12 June 2017 - 04:23 PM.


#36 texasmom33

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 04:42 PM

I just want to raise my hand as a homeschooler who does NOT read 8 books a day to her children, lest anyone running upon this thread think that's a requirement to join the homeschool club. :) We do try to read everyday to our young kids. But somedays, it doesn't happen. Most days we read at least one, but I've never read 8 books in a day to my kids (unless you count board books) in their life and I don't plan to start. I do think the library in question has a low bar, but I agree with those who say that people who read that many books a day probably aren't the target audience! 

 

 


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#37 lovinmyboys

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 07:48 AM

I think reading 1000 books in 3 months is a lot. 21 is very easy. I read to my older kids all the time when they were little. My younger kids have not been read to as much. It just gets much harder. I made a goal to read them 300 picture books this summer (about 3ish a day). If the books are shorter we get through more, but my younger kids are 4 and 5 so the books are a little longer.

#38 blendergal

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:00 AM

My kids really like participating in reading programs like these, even when the prizes are pretty junky. You can always tweak it from your end, to make it a more appropriate challenge.

For the 1,000 books before kindergarten program, we challenged ourselves to read 1,000 titles, even though the library counts repeat readings as additional "books." It was a true challenge for us, and it felt great when we reached our goal.

When the school ran a program where the kids could earn free bowling and Six Flags tickets and things like that, I just required twice the minutes before I signed off. My kids are little, though. Older kids might push back about that kind of thing.

#39 Momto4inSoCal

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:40 AM

Our library gives us a sheet with 80 bubbles. Each bubble is 30min of reading. Once you complete a sheet you can get another one. You get a prizes just for checking in weekly but you will get more prizes if you hit certain goals (every 20 bubble so 10 hours). I require my older kids to read books from a preselected list daily. They have to read at least 20 pages from the book. They usually read their own fun books at night for another 1-2 hours. I don't use the library program as incentive, I use it as a way to get rewards for something that is already expected. Another library used to give rewards for basic things for under 5 but I always said they would only get a star for books we read. I don't mind changing the rules, I keep the checklist and have to check everything off so I get to say what receives a check and what doesn't.

Edited by Momto4inSoCal, 13 June 2017 - 01:49 PM.


#40 My4arrows

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:23 PM

At our old library, the kids had to read something like 15-20 hours for the summer. My kids were always finished within the first couple of days. They are readers already, so they did it for the prizes which were ok (food places locally and a book at the end). At our new library it is set up different. Each week the kids are asked to read a hour, and either try something new or attend the library program they offer weekly. Then they get new passes each week (passes to a historical site, a water park, movie, food place, museums, local fair, etc). This program IMO encourages readers. An hour a week isn't as overwhelming to a non reader as is the completion ideas. The prizes are getting the kids out to local places and active too. It does still frustrate my kids who are reading at least 15 hours a week, but I remind them most kids don't read like them. They do this for fun, getting the passes help out sicnce they are places I'd want to take the kids anyways (and paying for a large family makes it difficult to go) and I remind them to encourage their friends who aren't readers to do it along with them.

For a working parent, 20 books may be difficult at that age group or not on the important lost for them at that point. Summer has so much going on, it often gets pushed aside.

#41 SKL

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:59 PM

Right, that's another thing - where I live, the attractiveness of reading can fluctuate with the seasons.  In the cold half of the year, when it gets dark soon after the school bus drops off, there isn't much else to do besides book work.  But when the weather is nice, moms like me want to push our kids outside to make the most of it, before it gets ugly again.  :)  It doesn't get dark until after "bedtime."  I remember many summer evenings chasing fireflies until we were practically falling down tired.  And all that outdoor stuff is just as good for the brain as reading a book.  I think it's OK that the balance shifts depending on the child, the family, and whatever else is going on.

 

This week my kids are doing an outdoor day camp.  It sounded great on paper, especially back in January when I was setting up their summer camp schedule.  But it's been HOT and they are miserable.  They come home so spent.  I'm not gonna say a word about books in the evenings.  I'm telling them to go shower and get to bed.  :)  We read when it works, which isn't daily, but it's enough.

 

The only reason I even care to have my kids read in the summer is that I have one who really needs to practice her skills, so she doesn't fall behind.  She also has to do math and some other things.  If all my kids were great and enthusiastic readers, I would totally leave it up to them.  I feel like a hypocrite because I know the value of doing outdoor & hands-on things and having tons of free time.


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#42 Mshokie

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 04:09 PM

Our library's 0-5 summer reading is 20 activities. Some are directly book related, like read an alphabet book or read a bedtime story. Others are more general literacy skills, like sing your favorite song or make letters out of playdough. Reading a book can be substituted for any activity. I think most of the activities are things involved parents do anyway, but if that list helps some parents realize that maybe they should say a rhyme with their 4-yo, great!
There are several different prizes, so most kids that participate complete more than one set of 20 activities over the summer. It's more of a "collect all 4-6 prizes" situation than a "read a book every 3 days" deal.
For elementary kids, they have to read 16 books or 16 hours (or a combination of the two). They get different prizes than the preschool crowd. The schools really push the summer reading and even pre-register the students for it.
For middle- and high-school kids, they get a raffle ticket for every 3 books they read. There is a drawing every two weeks for things like $20 gift cards and even a tablet. Once you win, you can't win again, but you can put in as many 3-book tickets as you can until you win.
As for how much I read to 3-yo DD, at least twice a day, before nap and before bedtime. We might be reading half of the same book at each time or we might read two different books. We might also read a dozen different books some days. That goes for any time of year, not just summer.

Edited by Mshokie, 27 June 2017 - 04:31 PM.


#43 IEF

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 04:19 PM

I don't do those programs either.

My singleton got two hours of read alouds in the morning and three hours between dinner and lights out at that age and my dyad got roughly the same amount of time, but divided in such a way that both children's interests were respected, i.e., I would read a book of dd's choice for an hour in the morning and then it was time for ds' book, but they were welcome to sit and listen to their sibling's choice if they were interested.

There are adults in this world who don't read fluently and families whose culture considers reading aloud to children to be a "waste of time". That is who these programs are designed for, as well as all these vague promises about "readers are leaders" and "kids who get good grades in reading get good jobs and good paychecks."

Edited by IEF, 27 June 2017 - 04:20 PM.


#44 Icesk8abc

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:15 AM

We are participating in 3 of the 4 offered summer reading programs at our library this summer. With the exception of the fact that you can do the adult program without actually reading anything, I find them to be appropriate.

For the under 2 crowd, there is the sheet of activities to check off. It includes things like singing nursery rhymes, practicing animal sounds, and reading various types of books (animal, alphabet, counting, story, etc). Once you complete 12 activities, you get to choose a board book. Looking at the sheet, we could complete all the activities that are appropriate for my 9 month old in an hour. That's not the point of the program, but nothing is hard. It's mostly to encourage reading to babies and toddlers. We'll save it and turn it in later this summer even though we are done.

The 2-12 age range gets a paper with stars to color. They get one star for every 15 minutes they read or someone reads to them. When they get 20 stars, they can get a prize. There are both books and trinkets. The books are all 20 stars, but some of the trinkets require saving up their stars. My youngest isn't reading yet other than reciting memorized stories. She chooses 3 books before rest time and 3 books before bed time. She'll also bring me a book or two randomly during the day. This usually adds up to about 30 minutes of reading. They also get to color 2 stars for each library program or story time they attend. We usually go once a week to the story time with a related craft because my oldest enjoys it.

Students 10-18 (tweens can choose the kid or teen program) log hours. When they fill a paper they pick a raffle jar. I'm not sure exactly how many hours they need or what all the prizes are since I don't have a student in the program.

The adult program requires checking out and reading/watching 5 books, audio books, and/or movies and writing them on a recording sheet. These are also raffle tickets. Most of the prizes are gift cards. They also have a laptop for the big prize that will be drawn from all the non winning tickets.

Overall, I find it to be appropriate at each level. We take advantage because we are there anyway, and the girls like free books.

Edited by Icesk8abc, 28 June 2017 - 05:18 AM.


#45 Kiara.I

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 12:55 PM

Our library reading program just requires 15 minutes a day of reading.

That can include:

- reading yourself

- being read TO (so if older sibling reads to younger sibling, it counts for both of them.  Win!  ;) )

- listening to an audiobook

 

I think that's a pretty good system, really.  It includes pre-readers and non-readers, at whatever age they are and whatever reasons they're not reading.

And it allows kids who cannot read to themselves to still participate without requiring parents to do all the reading (in case parents cannot or will not) by getting audiobooks, assuming they at least have access to a CD player or a device that will play the files.

 

As to how many books I read to my preschooler in a day...not all that many.  Not usually 8 per day, though she sometimes talks me into it.  I don't find reading picture books to preschoolers FUN.  Maybe I used to, I don't know.  I don't right now, anyway.  So I do it because I "should", not because I want to.  And books on CD are great, because I would have poked my eyes out if I had kept trying to read Little House in the Big Woods to them...



#46 vaquitita

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 11:46 PM

Hmm. My kids have usually completed the library summer reading program in 2-3 weeks, so I haven't thought it was anything great. But now I'm realizing it's pretty good. Lol. Even though there are non reading activities, any of these can be replaced by 20 minutes of reading. You don't have to do the activities. The divisions are pre reader, reader, and teen. To fill in the whole chart you've read 20 hours. Not too bad when it only runs to July 31, and most kids aren't out of school till mid June or later.

To my older kids I easily read 8 books a day, but my youngest... the poor kids definitely gets the short end of the stick. I read him somewhere between 4 and 0 books each day. Sometimes the bigger kids read to him. But I still feel guilty that I don't read to him more.

#47 Mommyof1

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 09:01 PM

Our Summer Reading Program is good. Last year it was read 6 books (kids) and they would get a t-shirt, Pizza Hut coupon for free personal pan pizza and a prize from their cabinet. Plus they would have a bingo game when they could win prizes.

This year there still is the bingo and they can still get the 3 things for the first 6 books read. The only change is they will get a prize for every 6 books read until the prizes run out.

I would have cleaned them out last year if that was in play. I read to my daughter a lot. This year though she is reading so the amount of prizes is up to her.

#48 Michael12

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:54 AM

Many of the points mentioned above are emphasized here:

 

http://www.readathom...ic-library.html