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30 Book Challenge

My son hates to read. Nope, no dyslexia or ADHD. He’s actually several years ahead in all of his reading skills. My niece, who is the same age, she always has her nose in a book. I did too, as a kid. I want my son to enjoy reading. I have purchased every sports book and magazine you can imagine in an effort to encourage him.

Still, every time I say “Hey, it’s time for us to do our reading” I get opposition and pushback. And who likes confrontation every day? NO ONE. So I have decided I am going to stick with this until we have completed our 30 books.

The 30 Book Challenge 2 blog

I can’t even imagine what it’s like to encourage a child to do something that they struggle with. I guess it would be like telling me I have to shoot 3-pointers for 20 minutes a day.

Adults don’t like to do things we aren’t successful at either. But, as parents it is up to each to also teach perseverance and grit. You don’t get better at something unless you practice. Very few of us are experts at something the first time we try it.

If you have a child in elementary school, chances are that you’ve heard of the 30 book challenge.

What is the 30 Book Challenge?

It’s actually an initiative that schools do, all across the nation.

The 30 Book Challenge is based upon the Donalyn Miller book, “The Book Whisperer.” Ms. Miller claims that she has yet to meet a child who should could not teach to enjoy reading. So, you up for the challenge?

She is the author or co-author of several books about creating engaging and inclusive reading communities for all children. In her first book, The Book Whisperer, Donalyn reflects on her journey to become a reading teacher and describes how she inspires and motivates her middle school students to read 40 or more books a year.

These are her tenets.

The Book Whisperer Concepts

  • Affirm the reader in every student
  • Allow students to choose their own books
  • Carve out extra reading time
  • Model authentic reading behaviors
  • Discard timeworn reading assignments such as book reports and comprehension worksheets
  • Develop a classroom (or home!) library filled with high-interest books

Sounds simple enough, right? So who’s in it with me, for this summer? I don’t know that we’ll get to 30 books this summer, but it’s a starting point.

What age does the 30 Book Challenge?

Some schools that do this are very specific about ages and rules. But hey, I’m a parent who just wants her kid to enjoy reading.

30 book challenge ideas

Tips for Success

Once you read her ideas from her book, there isn’t much to add. The free printables that I’m including can be adapted for any age group.

Enjoying to Read with a Learning Disability

You know what? Start out with audio books if you must! Have your child follow along with the text version.

As always, if your child’s needs are not being met at school, revisit your IEP and request further evaluations or interventions.

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