Start a Reading Challenge to Conquer Screen Time

Are you ready to start a Reading Challenge? But, who reads books anymore? Screens have replaced books in today’s world. Sadly, we are becoming disconnected from one another as we bury ourselves in a digital world.

Today, I propose to you to start a reading challenge in your family to conquer screen time. I will outline how to start a reading challenge. I will even provide a free printable to help you get started in your family’s reading challenge.

Start a Reading Challenge to Conquer Screen Time

A Reading Challenge to Conquer Screen time and the world

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world”

William Ross Wallace

As homeschoolers, we need to fight against the cultural shift of dumbing down the people. We can do this by reading and encourage our children to read high quality, thought-provoking, classic books.

Perhaps you won’t conquer the world, but you may conquer the screen time addiction in your family. Reading takes you to a new world of imagination, unlike any screen can. We are losing imagination development in our children. My challenge to you is to put the screens down and pick up a book made of paper.

Screen Addictions

I am the first to admit that I spend way too much time on my phone, my iPad, and my computer. I started noticing my children also spending more time on the iPad and it made me sad. I know that they are just following my example.

This year, one of my goals is to reduce our family’s screen time and spend more time reading books. Reading both individually, in homeschool, and as a family. It is a lofty challenge because we all love our screens. I think there will be pushback from my family and maybe even me. But I want my children to be thinkers and leaders. As the saying goes, “leaders are readers“.

How about you?

Do you spend too much time on your phone or computer?

Do you chill out by surfing through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or watching Netflix?

How about your kids?

How much time do they spend on a screen each day?

I recently turned on the screen time app on my iPad. I was shocked and embarrassed by what I saw. It had logged hours of screen time. And that was just my iPad. What about my phone and my computer?

Are you up for the challenge to reduce your family’s screen time? Let’s do a reading challenge and reduce screen time in 2020!

Family Reading Challenge.  Two children sitting with piles of books

What is a reading challenge?

A reading challenge is basically setting a goal to read a specific number of books or pages during a specific amount of time. Like our family, you may have readers of different abilities in your family. You may also have what I call a “book worm” and then others who do not enjoy reading. This makes it very difficult to compete against one another.

In our family, we have five children of varying reading levels. One child struggles with reading due to dyslexia. Another is an avid reader who has read almost every book in our house, some of the books, multiple times. Then there is one average reader and two emerging readers. To have them compete against one another would be a disaster.

I suggest you set individual reading challenge goals for each person in your family. I have included a monthly goal worksheet that breaks down the goals by month to help you determine the number of books to read.

Reading challenge guidelines

There are many great apps to track your reading goals including Listy and Goodreads.

Listy is an Instagram-like app that is a community where you can share quotes from books and organize your reading list.

Goodreads is more functional for tracking books and you can see what your friends are reading.

While both are excellent apps, we are trying to reduce our screen time. That is why I have included a printable worksheet to track your reading.

Family all reading books together.  Mom, Dad, Son and Daughter each holding a book.

Books versus Pages

You will need to develop some individual rules for your family. In our family, we will be tracking books instead of pages. However, I thought it would be fun to track my avid reader’s pages. Since I know he will be most “into” this challenge, I will have him track pages, while the rest of us will track books we read.

You may have struggling readers, emerging readers, or non-readers in your family. Here are some ideas beyond individual reading to encourage their reading.

  • paired reading – encourage older siblings to read to younger ones, or have the younger siblings read to the older ones.
  • family reading – often called read aloud.
  • audiobooks – technically, this isn’t reading but listening. Audiobooks are great for when you are doing other things, like driving in the car, preparing meals, or cleaning together.
  • Bible Reading – this also includes using an audio Bible for those children who are not proficient readers but can follow along in their Bible.

I hope that these ideas have encouraged you to turn off the screen and pick up a book in your family. In the comments below, let us know what you and your family are reading right now.


Cattle Upon A Hill blog Header Image from Guest Post Author Amy Arthur

A big thank you to Amy Arthur of Cattle Upon a Hill for writing this article.

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