She paid her.
I think that’s really interesting.
Now, as this mom told us about what she’d done, she cringed a little—she knew full well that bribery is not the best way to hook a kid on reading. She knew it was a short-term solution… a Hail Mary pass, if you will, when you’re really desperate.
But the intriguing thing is, it worked. Her daughter started reading. (I’m not sure if she’s still being paid to read or if she’s now reading on her own—I’ll find out and update you.)
Update: Yep, she’s become a reader! The mom said she originally paid her daughter $20 once to read a specific book. That incentive got her over the hump; the girl got through that book and carried on, reading the rest of the books in that series… and now she reads for her own enjoyment.
Another mom said that her kids are always clamouring for books when they visit a bookstore. Her solution? The kids buy the books out of their allowance, but she reimburses them for the book once they’ve read it.
Now, obviously she’s in a pretty positive situation; her kids already love books. But her idea about reimbursing them ensures that the books actually get read, rather than just sit on a shelf.
I’d like to know what you think about paying kids to read. Could it be a positive way to get kids into reading, when combined with other more sustainable activities—like reading to your child, letting them see you reading, and generally reinforcing the value of reading?
Or is bribery just out of the question, even if you’re super desperate? Should we take it out the equation altogether?
And lastly, if we say that paying a child to read might be OK… how much are we talkin’ about, here?