Summer Reading Programs

It's that time of year! Most kids are out of school for the summer, but we can still encourage them to read by participating in summer reading programs. Here are a few to get you started!

  1. Borders Summer Reading Challenge
    Borders offers children a chance to earn a free book by keeping a record of books they read. Once your child has read any 10 books of his or her choice, they can choose a free book from a specific list of titles. Open to children aged 12 and under.
  2. 2011 Summer Reading Program
    Register your kids for's reading program. The only cost is postage of $1.71; once your children reach 500 pages, send in the forms along with the stamp for $1.71, and your child will receive a certificate of completion and a prize! They even have a list of recommended books for children to browse if they run out of ideas.
  3. Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program
    Encourage your child to read by joining B&N's reading program! Children will earn a free book (chosen from a provided list) by reading 8 books of their choice. What better way to encourage a love of reading than to allow them to earn free books?
  4. HEBuddy Summer Reading Club
    If you live in Texas, make sure you enroll your children in the HEBuddy reading club! Keep track of 10 books that you read, mail it in, and you'll get prizes!
  5. iVillage Reading Challenge
    iVillage is having a challenge for kids to help them learn to enjoy reading. Sign up for the free 6 week program and receive daily challenges, tips from other parents and more!
  6. Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
    This is a great challenge for kids! Log your hours, try to meet weekly goals, and enter weekly sweepstakes! Kids can register to track their own time, educators can register to track their students and parents can get tips from experts and summer reading lists.
Do you know of any others? Have you participated in any of these summer reading challenges in the past? Let us know in the comments below. Share your experiences!

Personalized Books Make Reading Fun!

Some kids love to read, while others you may have to fight tooth and nail to get them to read. I have both in my family. My son fooled us into thinking he couldn't read for a long time! All because he hates to read. As a result, I've had to come up with ways to make reading more exciting.

One thing I have noticed about kids is that they love hearing about themselves...or at least mine do! They like looking at themselves in the mirror, they like hearing stories about themselves and they love telling others about their favorite subject as well.

Knowing this, I decided that it was time to try a more personalized approach to make reading fun for him. Personalized books are a great way to get him interested in reading because the story is all about him! I highly recommend that parents get their children a personalized book or 2...or 3 or 4! LOL

Not only do they help make reading fun, but they also make a child feel special. A personalized book makes a great gift, and a treasured keepsake as a personalized new baby gift.

Personalized Ballerina Princess Children's Book

Free Typing Lessons

My kids need typing lessons...and we don't always want to spend money on typing software. There are some great ones out there, but it can be difficult to choose what type of typing instructors are best. But, why spend money when you don't have to?

We've found a great free online typing tutor that is perfect for homeschooling! Power Typing has typing lessons for both QWERTY & DVORAK (didn't even know these were still around???) keyboards. They offer lessons, reviews, quizzes and typing games.

This is a great site for teaching our kids to type! Have you used Power Typing? Do you know of any other typing resources that have worked for you? Share your experiences in the comments below!