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Children losing an interest in reading seems to be increasingly common according studies in recent years. Between ages 8-13, a child is highly likely to stop reading all together, having a detrimental effect on future studies.
My niece is soon turning 6, so she is still taking pleasure in reading, but I—like many parents/family members—would like her to continue to engage with books as she progresses through school. (Before having all of her attention snatched by Fortnite, Roblox and other videogames.)
Which is why for my current student project, I am proposing a mobile app that rewards children for reaching reading goals by giving them discounts on videogame based currency such as V-bux and Robux.
What are your thoughts on this? Your comments would be invaluable to my studies.
I have also a survey that takes around one minute to complete that explains the app in further detail. Any responses would be greatly appreciated and a great help for my project (Link is below).
Thank you :-)
Good luck with your project, but I find this so sad… why is reading the ‘work’ which needs to be ‘rewarded’ with videogames?
Reading can be loved by all children as long as they are nurtured that way- encouragement; parents reading; books available at home and school with somewhere to store them; having books of relevant subjects, types and styles; parental-regulation of the alternatives which are so much ‘easier’ for children to pick up with quick adenalin-filled rewards (such as videogames!); regular library use, etc.
Schools attach incentives such as this to reading- requiring records to be made of reading done at home, expectations of so-many reading sessions a week etc. This is bad enough and ends up with children doing the bare-minimum (or cheating) to achieve the minimum requirement.
There is no simple answer of course. I hope your project goes well.
If you have a look at the research on external rewards then you’ll see that they actually decrease the behaviour that is being rewarded. It has the opposite effect that you desire over the longer term. The more you reward something the less effort the child makes, the more they depend on external forces to manipulate them into doing something. This creates negative connections with reading and leaves them avoiding it at all other times if it doesn’t end in a reward. Sorry to say real-life experience and research would suggest it has a very negative influence on perceptions of reading, any enjoyment and any intrinsically driven desire.
My kids are 11 and they both absolutely love reading and they always have. I read to them every single day from when they were tiny babies. Reading, I believe is a habit and needs to be nurtured and enjoyed. Reading for the sake of a reward, in my opinion, is not useful in the long run .... as what happens when you aren’t there to reward them anymore ? They probably just stop, as would no longer see the point of it. Reading is a reward itself ...