Setting Summer Reading Goals

It’s important for children to set goals for themselves.  Children can set goals for the amount of time they want to practice something, the amount of time they want to spend studying, or what they want to do over the summer (see the post on our Summer Action Plan to learn more).  Research has found that a child’s ability to set and achieve realistic goals is linked to higher grades, lower college drop-out rates and greater well-being in adulthood (Morisano, Hirsh, Peterson, Pihl, & Shore, 2010).

It is also important for children to set goals related to their reading.  As children feel successful about the amount of reading they accomplish, they will become more successful readers.   I find that this ability to compete with oneself really motivates children.  In order to motivate my son to read more over the summer, I created the Summer 2011 Reading Challenge.  Feel free to join us, if you haven’t already.  There is still plenty of time to read over the summer!

As part of the challenge, I sat down with my son to help him set realistic reading goals for his summer vacation.  Watch the video to see what we did:


My daughter will begin kindergarten in the fall, so we modified her goals a bit.  Instead of incorporating reading, which she is beginning to do a little bit, we set goals for learning sight words:


And then there are my summer reading goals for our family:

  1. Set aside 15-30 minute increments of time EVERY day for us to read individually.
  2. Read at least one text from at least two genres that are new to us.

Setting goals helps keep you accountable.  If you know you have a goal you want to reach, you work hard to meet it.  I want to instill in my children the idea that we work hard to accomplish what we want in life.  I know I have worked hard, and I wouldn’t have accomplished as much as I have so far without setting realistic goals.


Morisano, D., Hirsh, J.B., Peterson, J.B., Pihl, R.O, & Shore, B.M. (2010). Setting, Elaborating, and Reflecting on Personal Goals Improves Academic Performance.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 95 (2), 255-264.

©2011 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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