In a world where everything is based on technology and immediate feedback, and now with virtual learning, a reminder of our original roots of using library books may be long overdue. Does anyone miss holding a physical book? The movement of the pages and the books’ smell? The “struggle” of using the Card Catalog to get what we needed? Some of us can already anticipate the push back from our kids. “Why not use an audio book or a Kindle to read?” Creating ‘Book Bucks’ may be an alternative and an incentive to move a bit away from the technology, pick up a good book, and read.
Earning ‘Book Bucks’
We know that children thrive with rewards, no matter the task! The right reward will incentivize the action wanted. If explaining the benefits of handling a physical book is not incentive enough, maybe money is? ‘Book Bucks’ are something that can be easily made by the reader or printed by the parent. The way the child earns ‘Book Bucks’ can vary for all.
CLICK HERE for the Book Buck template!
To start out, have several reward options already in mind. Having rewards in mind can guide the conversation to a reward that the child essentially chooses on their own but is also something that you in the end have chosen to be attainable.
You can also choose to create the criteria for goals and rewards together. Finding a spot where the child can genuinely enjoy reading with a physical book in hand is key. Below are some ideas:
- Every chapter = 1 Book Buck
- Not a chapter book? Every 5 pages = 1 Book Buck
- Answering comprehension questions = 1 Book Buck per question
**Comprehension questions can be per chapter or 5 pages. Some suggestions include: Who is the main character? What was the problem? Was there a solution? What is the setting? Is there a moral of the story? **
- Writing the comprehension question out in complete sentences = 1 Book Buck per complete sentence
- Finishing a book = 5 Book Bucks
Book Buck Rewards
Again, this can be altered and adjusted based on the reading ability and age of the child. Once the child has earned so many Book Bucks, they can ‘buy’ their rewards or choose to keep saving for something big. The ‘free’ incentive for finishing a book is that the child can pick out a brand-new book to read. This will encourage them to pick out a new book whether it is already in the household library or going and lending/purchasing a new one. Book Bucks are not to be used to get a new book. Some rewards may include:
- Snack of choice at night = 2 Book Bucks
- Movie Night = 5 Book Bucks
- Extra video game time = 5 Book Bucks
- Extra play date time = 5 Book Bucks
- Game of choice night = 3 Book Bucks
- Trip to the store (to get a toy) = 10 Book Bucks
- Skip a vegetable at dinner = 8 Book Bucks
- Spend the day in pajamas = 6 Book Bucks
- Sleep in late = 7 Book Bucks
- Skip a chore = 15 Book Bucks
- Stay up 30 minutes later = 12 Books Bucks
Books can take you to faraway places, some that one could never imagine and some to familiar places not yet visited. The ideas and rewards are endless! If the child gets to be the one to make the Book Bucks rules – all the better!
Written by Brittney Urban
Brittney is a Dyslexia Specialist and Brainspring tutor.
Brainspring has proudly supported the educational community for more than 25 years.