Our family reading contest started Memorial Day weekend. Michael and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make the contest fair, since we were competing with a five year old. Counting the number of books read was out right away because Brenna would've creamed us. Counting anything other than books (like blogs or the newspaper) wouldn't be fair to Brenna. We really wanted to encourage her reading, not intimidate her.
So we settled on pages. I made a poster board graph and we created a list of rules. Only books count. You have to read the whole the book before you can post any pages. Any book can be challenged by asking three questions about the book. That last rule was added because I wanted a way to make sure Brenna was truly reading and not skimming. She contributed numbers 2 and 5 on the list.
Even as I drew the grid lines and marked off every twenty pages, I worried that Michael and I would surpass her right away and she would get discouraged. In the back of my head, I think I was planning to let her win. Two thousand pages seemed like a lot in May. I wasn't even sure any of us would hit that by September.
I was so wrong. I bought a new piece of poster board last week - we've reached the top of this one! Two thousand pages!
If you look closely, you'll see that Brenna hit the two thousand page mark first. Fair and square. She got off to a quick start and I was only able to pass her once. My fears of discouraging her were completely unfounded. The girl can read. I have challenged most of her books because she reads so fast I get suspicious. Plus I was losing. But no matter how trivial the question, she's always been able to answer them, so every book has been posted.
She's read about Ben Franklin and Clara Barton. She's read a condensed version of Alice in Wonderland and of The Secret Garden. She's read books about an Amish girl and books in the American Girl series. And in the end, she beat me to two thousand.
Congratulations Brenna! On to three thousand!