Friday, June 6, 2008

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I've been a bit turned off by the whole idea of prizes for reading, since it seems like the sort of situation where reinforcing a behavior could accidentally wind up extinguishing it. (I believe there was a study where children actually stopped producing drawings after they were rewarded for drawing.) I'm open to the use of material incentives, but only for tasks that are repellent or difficult (potty-training, etc.) or that a child has a mental block about. C's mercenary attitude toward summer reading programs has not made me friendly to the use of prizes for pleasure reading for kids.

So I was very pleased to learn about my husband's successful bargain with C. They decided this evening that C would read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and her reward would be the book itself, which will move from the family book collection to her very own bookcase. C finished the first chapter and started the second chapter this evening. I think there's a good chance she'll zip through it, but I'm afraid that she may stall while slogging through Prince Caspain. If so, I will encourage her to skip it and move on to Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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