It started when the girl who has read Tuck Everlasting six times said "I'm going to read 50 books in 2013." "Okay" I said, "I'll read 50 books too. We'll have to figure out a way to keep track though."
After some debate we came up with the rules- I'd read 100 books, she'd read 50 and rereading favorite books didn't count, they had to be 50 (or 100) unique books finished during the 2013 calendar year. And I would figure out a way to keep track. A very visual way of holding ourselves accountable
First, let me say that I think setting arbitrary number of books reading goals is silly. I could read 100 picture books or 100 Baby Mouse books in about a week. When people do things like this, I immediately wonder how much enjoyment and enrichment they're sacrificing for pure quantity and bragging rights. I also know that I read very, very quickly and so reading 100 books isn't the same kind of big deal to me as reading 50 books is to a girl who loves to read but goes slowly.
Second, I don't care about number 1. I still like this idea. It's important to me for the kids to see adults actively reading and it's important for the kids who do read to have a place where they can be publicly recognized for their accomplishments.
Third, inspired by this post on pinterest, this is our 2013 Reading Challenge wall.
The text reads:
"Every time Miss Lucy and Ms. E finish a book in 2013 they will put a colorful dot on the wall. Watch our progress as the year continues and the wall fills up!
Want to join us? Pick a color and start reading! Dots can be added to the wall for every finished book OR every 20 minutes spent reading!"
Right now each kid who participates picks their own color so they can see exactly how much they've read. We'll soon run out of unique colors so we're also asking them to put (or have an adult put) the name of the book they're working on and their name. And to recognize the kids who do read, but read a little slower, we're also putting dots on the wall for every 20 minutes spent reading.
We put up the wall on January 2nd with three dots- two from the girl who read Tuck Everlasting so many times and one for an Elvis and Olive book. It's only been 3 weeks and look how far we've come! I can't wait to see what the rest of 2013 has in store for us!