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Homeschooling Tips


Iamhomeschooling.com offers an abundance of resources for homeschoolers. Whether you are considering homeschooling, new to homeschooling, or a seasoned homeschooler, you will find inspiration, great tips, and helpful advice.  For information specific to homeschooling in Florida, click here.

2016 Summer Reading Incentive Programs

Does your child enjoy reading but need a little push to get into a good book? Then take a look at these summer reading incentive programs that might just spark your child's interest.  If you find yourself missing the deadlines, keep them in mind for next year.  These programs are usually offered every summer. This information is updated annually, so be sure to visit this page again next year. 

Summer Reading

  • Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathalon:  Have your complete the Summer Reading Program Journal, then turn in the completed Journal at any local Barnes & Noble between May 17 and September 6, 2016 to be eligible for a FREE BOOK. (Kids can choose from a selection of books appropriate for grades K-6). Parents can download fun activities and get teaching tips in their exclusive activity kit!

  • Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program:  Have your child read for at least 15 minutes each day between June 1 and July 31, 2016. (Grown-ups may read aloud to kids who are still learning.) Once your child has read for 300 minutes, take his or her completed reading log to your local Half Priced Books store (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and earn your $5 HPB Bookworm Bucks reading reward for the month. High school students can participate this year too!

  • Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge: From June 7 through August 17, 2016, attend five read aloud story times and earn a Book Club Passport and $10 towards any one item.

  • Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge: This is an online program where kids log their reading time, earn virtual rewards and prizes, and can enter sweepstakes.  Program runs from May 9 through September 9, 2016. (Ages 15 and under)

  • Sync Summer Audiobook Program:  Finally! A summer reading program for teens! Between May 5 and August 17, 2016, teens will be able to download 30 free audiobooks. SYNC 2016 is giving away 30 titles - two paired audiobook downloads each week.

  • TD Bank Summer Reading Program:  When your child reads 10 books over the summer, TD Bank will deposit $10 into a new or existing Young Saver Account.  One $10 offer per reader.  Print their Summer Reading Form, fill it out, and take it to your local TD Bank (over 1,250 locations from Maine to Florida). Valid June 1 through August 31, 2016. (Grade K-5)

  • H.E.Buddy Rockin' Summer Reading Club: Texas homeschoolers, have your kids read any 10 books and log them on their Reading Club Form, and they'll receive a free T-shirt. (Parents can read to early learners.) Parents must initial each book read and mail the completed form to H.E.Buddy by October 1, 2016. (Ages 3-12)

Don't forget to check out your local public library's summer reading program. Many colleges and universities offer summer reading programs (to students of ALL ages), too!

A Few Summer Reading Resources

Here are a few great websites and awesome resources to help you get and keep your kids reading over the summer:

All About Reading Activity BundleAll About Reading - Reading Activity Bundle: Sign up for All About Reading's newsletter and receive six downloadable PDFs that will help your child with consonants, vowels, and syllables.

 Summer Bridge Reading Series

Didn't see a summer reading program that fits your family? Missed the deadlines? You might be interested in Carson-Dellosa's reading workbooks. They publish the Summer Bridge Reading series–workbooks specifically designed to help kids in grades K-6 improve their reading skills over the summer months. Many of these can be found on Amazon at a discounted price.

Keep Your Kids Reading All Year Long

Here are some reading incentive programs that run throughout the year.

  • Pizza Hut Book It!:  Motivate your children  to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition and pizza. BOOK IT! runs every school year. BOOK IT! goals are based on reading ability.  Number of books, number of pages, or number of minutes – choose what works for your child.  BOOK IT! can also be used with the reading curriculum or as support for comprehension or intervention programs.  For children not reading independently, the goal can be set where a parent or others read to the child. As soon as your child meets the monthly reading goal, give him or her a Reading Award Certificate.  The restaurant manager and team congratulate every child for meeting the monthly reading goal and reward them with a free, one-topping Personal Pan Pizza, BOOK IT! card and backpack clip. (Grades K-6)

  • Book Adventure:  Children create their own book lists, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes.  Parents can design a quick and easy incentive plan by customizing prizes and setting their children's goals.  Parents can also monitor their children's reading activities, track their quiz results and approve their prize selection. Book Adventure was created by and is maintained by Sylvan Learning. (Grades K-8)

  • Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards Calendar: Download and print a free Reading Reward Calendar, mark off the days your child reads (every day for two weeks) and your child will receive 10 free tokens as a reward.

Something to Consider

Not everyone agrees that children should be rewarded for reading. Some argue that offering children incentives to read encourages them to read for the reward—not for the love of reading. Children rewarded for reading a set number of books may read books that are short and easy, children rewarded for reading books that don't interest them may read them without any thought, and children rewarded for reading for a set amount of time may sit with the same book for (what seems like) hours without ever reading a thing. Once you have signed your child up for a summer reading program (or two), get involved. Make sure reading is something your child looks forward to. Consider offering book suggestions based on your child's interests (or ask your librarian for help), and assist them in reaching their goals.

Using Math Manipulatives

Manipulatives can play an important role in helping kids learn. Not only because they offer hands-on learning experiences and can give a visual to abstract math concepts, but because they can make learning fun. Below are some of the many manipulatives available, some of which are available in printable form here.

Counters, Base Ten Blocks, Cuisenaire Rods
Base Ten Blocks,Color Cubes, Two-Color Counters, Quiet Animal Counters,
Transparent Color Chips, Cuisenaire® Rods

There is an unlimited number of different items you can use to help with adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing operations--LEGOs, macaroni, acorns, you name it. To visualize place value and the process of regrouping, we recommend using base ten blocks. They come in units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. Cuisenaire® Rods, varying in length from one centimeter to ten centimeters, can help develop basic number, pattern, measurement, and fraction concepts. Color cubes are perfect for visualizing area and volume and for building basic 3-D structures.

Dice and More Dice
Polyhedra Dice, Blank Dice, Operations Dice, Colored Number Cubes,
Fraction Dice, Standard Dot Dice, Decimal Dice, Place Value Dice

As your children get older, try using dice for practicing basic operations, such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. Take a couple of numbered dice (any number of sides) and a set of operation dice, roll them, and calculate. Dice are also great for practicing greater than and less than activities and for exploring probability concepts. Place value dice are helpful in introducing writing numbers in expanded form.

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