Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Family Reading Challenge and Giveaway

Now that it's summer and we've had lots of nice outdoor weather, I've found that not only my own personal reading, but reading to my daughter has been slipping a bit. While it's absolutely wonderful and beneficial to spend time outside, I don't want to get into the habit of not reading to my daughter and reading on my own every day.

Last night as I was lying in bed lamenting that we had gone yet another night with no reading, I decided to challenge my family to read a little every day even if it's just for a few minutes. Here's how it's going to work for us:

  • After dinner, either my husband or I will read to our daughter. She's fifteen months old, so one picture book has been pretty much all we can get through. If we get through two or three books, it's a major feat.
  • After bath time, we'll also let her browse through her books on her own and will read to her if she asks us to. She's done more and more of this lately, which is pretty cool.
  • Because it's nearly impossible to read with a toddler around, after my daughter goes to bed, my husband and I will spend time reading on our own.
So our challenge is for all of us to read a little every day. I'm not setting a time goal or page goal or anything like that because for some reason, that tends to stress me out instead of making me enjoy the book and just savor the act of reading.

What about you? Would you like to spend more time reading and challenge yourself and your family to read a bit every day? If so, I'd love it if you joined me! The only rule is that you try to fit in time every day. You know what will work best for your family, so you decide the logistics. Maybe you want to spend some time every day reading aloud to your children. Or if you have older kids, perhaps you want set aside a specific time of day where everyone in the family is reading on their own--no computers, no TV, just good old books. Maybe you don't even have kids but want to challenge yourself to read everyday. That's fine, too!

On Saturday mornings, I will post a summary of how our week went, and if you have a blog, invite you to do the same and link to your post. If you don't have a blog, I'd still love to know how your week went and invite you to post a summary in the comments section.

To help get you started and keep you motivated, I'll be holding a giveaway each week, and in honor of the challenge kickoff, I'll start by giving away four books, three of which I've featured on The Well-Read Child this week:

  • Sergio Makes A Splash by Edel Rodriguez (my review)
  • A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg (my review)
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (my review)
  • For adults, I'm also giving away my personal copy of Ami McKay's The Birth House

To enter, you must sign up for the challenge by leaving your comments in this post. For an extra entry, help spread the word about the challenge on your blog if you have one, and leave your link in this post. If you don't have a blog, you can earn an extra entry by emailing five of your friends who may be interested in joining the challenge and cc'ing me in the email. (thewellreadchild AT gmail DOT com)

You have until Midnight EST, Friday, July 11, 2008. I'll do a random drawing on Saturday, July 12, 2008 and announce the winners and the next giveaway in my weekly challenge summary.

At this time, the contest is only open to US residents, but anyone in any country can sign up for the challenge. Good luck, and happy reading!


  1. What a great challenge... Count me in! I too have slowed down my reading this summer.

    Wonderful blog, by the way. I've been a quiet follower for a while now.

  2. Good challenge! We've got a pretty good routine going with bedtime stories in our house, but signing up for something "official" like this is a way to make me more mindful about it.

    Heard about your site through Jen Robinson's Book Page.

  3. great blog. love it! summer has been crazy and something like this is just what we need. we accept your challenge.!!

  4. I love a challenge,an I love reading an I already read to my grandchildren so this is a easy project an challenge for me,so count me in,thanks


  5. This is a great challenge and a great opportunity to get back to reading to my daughter. I've kinda of slacked off lately, thanks for the opportunity!


  6. Love the challenge,both of my kiddos could benefit from this! I'm in.

  7. As the mother of three, I agree that summer is an easy time to let our reading habits slip. It's so----important to keep those young readers reading during the summer so that they don't lose the reading skills and progress they acquired during the previous school year. Thanks for the reminder to get back to the books. Count my family in for the family reading challenge!!!

  8. What a great idea and I accept the challenge. Now that 2 of my grandchildren live with us we need something like this to remind us the importance of reading.

  9. Great challenge with some great book offerings!

  10. I read to my grandaughter every week, but I will accept the challenge and read an extra book each visit.

  11. My 3 grandchildren love to read. I have Robert McCloskey books that they enjoy that were

    What a super challenge! My grandchildren would sure enjoy some new books. Reading is so important and lot's of fun. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity. :)

  12. Great challenge, Jill! So true that the warm weather keeps us out and about, compromising reading time. Many evenings, we get back from the pool or playground, and it's straight to bed (for mom and dad, too!)

    We've been trying to fit in at least one book after dinner. While one of us washes dishes, the other does the reading. Current favorite is I Stink by Kate McMullan.

    Anyway, challenge accepted!

  13. It is so strange that the days are longer but reading before bedtime gets minimized. I think it is because I am soooooooooooo tired by the time the girls go to bed. Thank you for the challenge and the motivation.

  14. Great challenge! Books are often forgotten in the summer, so some new additions to our old collection might just be the thing we need!

  15. Our family is up for the challange,each of us are avid readers.You are right when my son's school made reading at home a requirement my son soon felt that reading was homework and a chore. It took years for him to be a recreational reader.

  16. I want to start reading more to my 4 year old daughter. We have slacked off a little from when she was younger and some days only read at bedtime. I would love to have some new books to tempt her with.

  17. Great idea--we really need a challenge like this! I've been slipping into reading "the quickest book" before bed (which is about an hour too late these days), and we need to get back on track. Thanks!

  18. A great idea. I read a lot, but in the summer it is easy to have those beach days, or busy garden days and reading time shrinks. I just took out a bunch of books from the library which helps because them I am more entertained. kristie2 (at) comcast.net

  19. We are doing lots of reading this summer. More so now, which is has been fun. Here are some spots, ideas on how we do it around here.

    The dining room. Never a room for play or rough housing. Books are piled up and we go into the dining room and everyone sits quietly reading. It's no hard fast rule, it's just a general location since we all seem to be den animals around and love being in each other's space.

    The two year old goes into his crib with a pile of book at nap and bedtime. While he is looking at picture books, the 4 & 6 year old get to choose two story books each. I give up any agenda's in my home and just lay on the floor and read for about 45 minutes, doing double time as they are both present. Hubby will typically finish up with the 2 year old and read him a book and tuck him in.

    I take time to read while everyone is napping. I will sit out on the porch in my favorite chair with the sunshine and read. Often the six year old will come and join me with a book. I tell him this is mommy's quiet time, so he goes and gets a book and tries to be quiet.

    I hope this helps with some ideas. We are in, we are joining and we love reading in our home. Little ones can even write book reports. The title and author of the book.

  20. What a fantastic reminder to make reading a part of our daily lives. With 2 small children we (as parents) feel like we're reading all the time :) Although we certainly do struggle to find books that are appropriate for both our children when reading to them at the same time (4 yrs separate). I've often thought about recording some books on tape/cd so that our older child can read along and still hear our voices ~ but haven't done it to date. Maybe this will inspire me to try again !

  21. I love that you are doing this challenge. Our family reads every day -- at least reading to the kids before bedtime. I am trying to incorporate reading at other times of the day as well.

    I'm currently reading The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, which is great and very motivating.

    Another big goal is *less TV* for everyone, and more books, outings and games.

  22. Awesome challenge. We do really well at our family reading during the school year. We haven't been as organized this summer, although my boys and I have read. This will be good motivation for us!