My Summer Plan to Entice My Son to Love Reading

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This article is sponsored by Disney Book Group.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Keep reading for your chance to win!

My Summer Plan for Reading - Percy Jackson

When I was a tween/teen, I got lost in books.

I loved to read!

It would start with a trip to the library.  There were some shelves that I read from one end to the other.

And then there were those books that I wish would never end!  The characters had become such a part of my life that it was heartbreaking when the last page was turned.

Books helped me put what was happening in my real life in perspective.  It allowed me to take the bad stuff less seriously because I could find comfort and felt understood in the stories that unfolded.

Even today I read every day.  The books are a little different, but the way a book makes me feel is the same.

And then I had three boys.

And only one of them “likes” to read.

It kinda breaks my heart!

I want for them what I had. 

So, this summer I am trying a little experiment with my 13 year old.  He is the type of kid that loves to participate in things.  He is always doing something.  He is always up for an adventure.

He seems like the perfect fit for a good book, but he has struggled with the mechanics of reading since Kindergarten.  It is work for him to read at grade level.  And while I love the books that he is assigned at school, I can see how it is a chore for him to get through them.  It takes work to successfully digest the required information and then recall it on the next test or essay.

He has never read for fun.

He doesn’t even see it as a possibility.

And that is where my summer scheme begins…

Plan to Entice My Son to Love Reading

This plan was quickly hatched when I was approached by Disney Book Group to participate in the Percy Jackson Summer Reading Program.  I have heard such amazing things about the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.

The Lightning Thief - Percy Jackson

It has been on the bestseller list for over 500 weeks!  Here is a little bit about the first book, The Lightning Thief:

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy‘s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

The more I looked into this series, the more I was sure that this could achieve two goals this summer:

  1. Give my son the reading practice he needs daily.
  2. Give my son something that he can enjoy and get lost in.

It only takes one good book to convert a non-reader!  And there are 5 great books in this series!

Reading the Lightning Thief - Percy Jackson

Step 1: Enlist His Help

The first thing I did was to let Rhett in on the plan.  He is a smart boy who would have figured it out quickly, so just laying out what I wanted to do was my best chance for his complete participation.

I started with how reading was such a big part of my life at his age and I wanted that for him.  I ended with an offer for this to be part of his “summer job”.

Yes, I negotiated a per book rate.

{Don’t judge me}

My thought was to align his goals with mine.  He will be spending the summer asking for jobs to make money.  I will be begging him to read.  This way we kill two birds with one stone.

It will eliminate my nagging and keep him on track willingly.

Step 2:  Set Up a Reading Schedule

Because it is my goal to have him read the entire series this summer, this can only be successful if we start with a good daily reading plan.

Reading aloud has always been a favorite activity in my house.  I have found it to be one of the easiest ways to attract my boys (even teen boys who are normally too busy for their mom) to sit and hang out with me.  Knowing this will help Rhett dive into the story faster, I want to incorporate some together reading time into our summer schedule.

Oh, and then I get to read the books too!

For us, it is easiest to start and end the day this way.  We are setting aside some time both in the morning and evening to read.

I personally love reading in the morning because it gets my day off to a thoughtful start.  And who doesn’t love a good bedtime story?

Step 3:  House Rules Surrounding Reading

Because we are taking on this program as part of Rhett’s summer job, we are placing house rules around the reading schedule:

  1. No screen time before morning reading is completed.
  2. Phone stays at rest until after morning reading.
  3. Books travel with him.

We will be traveling several times this summer and reading in new locations is part of the fun!

Reading on the back porch with Panda - Percy Jackson

Step 4:  Find a Good Reading Spot

This may seem unnecessary, but I think it is essential to the success of this plot…I mean plan.  We live in a small house and Rhett shares a room with one of his older brothers.  If he was to simply read while sitting on his bed, it would be filled with interruptions and distractions.

We need to find a place where he can concentrate and enjoy the story.

We have talked about it and have several places we are going to try and see which one works best:

  • Couch in the living room – because I work a lot in the living room at a small desk behind the couch, it is usually pretty quiet!
  • Back porch – this is my favorite place in the morning and evening when it isn’t experiencing intense Texas heat.
  • Front porch – this covered area is often breezy.
  • Lakeside benches – there is a really cool public area with picnic tables and benches a 5 minute walk from our house that overlooks the lake.
  • Dog park – this is Panda’s favorite location and there is plenty of shade and seats for humans.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians book set

We Are Giving Away A Set!

So, what do you think of my plan?  Do you have a reluctant reader you think would benefit from joining Rhett on the Percy Jackson Summer Reading Challenge?  Here’s your chance to win the books for yourself!

Leave a comment below answering the question:

WHERE IS YOUR/YOUR CHILD’S FAVORITE READING SPOT?

This will enter you to win the Percy Jackson & the Olympians 5 book set!*

*Open to U.S. addresses only. Prizing provided by Disney Book Group. Winner will be chosen randomly at noon on June 12, 2019 and notified via email (to the email address provided in the comment).  If no response is given within 48 hours another winner will be chosen.

Good luck!



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