December Reading Challenge!

Every December 1st the race begins!  This year the target number is 2010 pages.  The Contenders?  Grandpa against the rest of the family.  The game—silent reading.

December is reading month at our house.  After the 10th, we take a step back from our regular school schedule and reading and personal projects become our top priority.  Time is set aside for silent reading.  We read individually, as a family (usually at the dinner table between bites and activities) and we have reading buddies (older matched with younger siblings).

The goal this year is 2010, to celebrate the New Year.  The chart dons the wall with spaces to write in titles of books read and a place to keep track of our combined family pages.  Grandpa’s chart is next to ours ready for the challenge.

Grandpa is a great reader, always has been.  He spent his lunch break at the local bookstore for years.  So far in the last 4 years he has beaten us every time by reading more than our whole family combined!  It’s one of our favorite ways to ring in the New Year and encourages teamwork and great reading skills.  In a month famous for its hustle and bustle, we plan moments when you can slip into a book and disappear.

Rules of the Game

Time:  Dec. 1-New Year’s Eve.

Challenge:  Read a combination of 2010 pages.  Each person keeps a tally of their pages then we add them up daily or weekly. 

Who:  Grandpa vs. the family.  (Grandpa keeps his own tally and we try to see who reads more in Dec.)

Intro:  The last Family Home Evening of the month of November, everyone brings 5 of their favorite books to share with the family.  Everyone gives a short book commercial (to sell us on wanting to read their books).  These books are then put on a special shelf for anyone to read. 

We read a family book (A Christmas Carol, or a collection of Christmas stories) during dinner.
We share information about authors—everyone researches and tells about one of their favorite authors.
As Christmas gifts, each child always gets books or a gift card to our favorite book store!
Watch movies based on books.
We add a book to our basket of Christmas books.
This year we’re hosting a “Dickens” Party with book discussion and movie.

The Prize:

If we reach our goal of reading 2010+ pages we celebrate at the local bookstore and each buy a book!  Whoever reads more—Grandpa or the rest of the family, gets a dinner of their choice!

We have found that taking time to read in December helps us to focus on the Christmas season and to slow down in this fun-filled month of parties, presentations, concerts, and caroling.  We pull together as a family and talk about good books and the favorite memories they bring.  Sharing books brings great conversations to the dinner table.  It builds unity and strengthens friendships between children as they share books with each other.  One of the biggest benefits is that the kids are geared up for learning in January.  We are rested, excited, and have all have established a reading love and habit that continues throughout the year.