Homeschool Reading Incentives!

I found this super cute idea to help with motivating students to read more on the Teacher Wife’s blog which lead me down a bunny trail of great ideas to help motivate students to read! I know homeschoolers are supposed to be book worms, but my kiddos aren’t always that interested in reading outside of class time. But with these cute reading incentive brag tags and some cheap beads…problem solved at the Confessions home!



I immediately visited ImageStuff and ordered a variety of reading incentive brag tags! (Select “reading” from the drop down menu.) I set up our bulletin board right away, and shared all of our new exciting reading rewards with the kiddos! By the way, I emailed them and they’re working on a more homeschooling friendly packet of tags! Yipee!! And don’t tell anyone, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing a giveaway for these later on too!



For every 20 minutes of reading time, my children earn 1 bead. For every 10 beads they earn, then can exchange them in for 1 cool Reading Incentive Brag Tag! Of course you can set up your own reading times based on the ages/grade levels of our kiddos.

Here is our whole bulletin board set up. I already had this smaller 2×3 wooden framed cork board. Then I just added some cute Tropical Fish bulletin borders and letters to make it more fun. You can see the whole list of supplies below.


Create your own reading incentive board:


To organize all of my cute little tags I found this storage case from my local Michael’s hobby store. It had the exact right sized sections, along with enough spots for all of my tags and some beads too!



Everyone was super excited and ready to read for beads. I was actually a little surprised at their enthusiasm, but they’ve kept it up! Reading whenever they get the chance! For now, I don’t restrict what books they read, as long as they are taking time to read. We have gathered several readers over the years, and so they’re free to pick anything they want from our stacks. I try to keep them sorted by reading level, but you know how that goes…



Here are our beads up close, you can see that they are earning beads as well as a couple of them have earned tags too! Since the Teeny Tot is too small to read herself, the older kids can earn a bead if they are found reading a story to her. I also give her a bead if she sits down and looks through picture books on her own. She usually makes up stories to go with the pictures, and it’s really cute, so I just couldn’t say no!




Just to make it a little easier to keep track of, they each track their reading outside of school time with these cute reading logs!



–> Download the Reading Log Printable here! <–


And just so you know I’m not lying here…it suddenly got really quiet in our house. So, naturally I started looking around for the noisemakers that live here, and I found this…


…and this…


…and this…



Hope you enjoy our reading incentive board.  If you have other fun reading incentive ideas, make sure to comment below to share your ideas with others!


  1. What a fun idea! And for the crafty types out there…I bet you could make your own tags with those shrinky-dinks. Oh…and how about if they accumulate x-number of tags they get a prize?!

    • I don’t see why not! Shrinky-dinks would be a great idea :o) prizes are good too :o)

    • Marlena says:

      Oh my goodness, Shrinky dinks are a fantastic idea!! They will go for that the most! Thanks so much. Erica, as always, another fantastic idea!!

  2. Erica,

    We’re those homeschoolers who love to read, but it is always nice to make something that is so routine more fun.

  3. Ahhh… I just LOVE your site! I just don’t know how you do it, though! I haven’t updated my blog in MONTHS- homeschooling is a full time job and at the end of the day … there’s still laundry and dinner and bedtime routines and, and, and. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE IT- but I’m just wondering how you find time to blog : ) I’m thankful you do. ♥

  4. I thought this was a GREAT idea, so I went on the website to order. The shipping was twice as much as what I was ordering! Do you know of any free (or reduced) shipping codes?

    • Hi Amy, not right now, I’m working with the company to get a homeschooling package set up that would work better. Right now they mostly cater to school disctricts that are ordering a LOT of the tags.

    • I was about to place an order until I, too, realized that the shipping was almost as much as my order. I emailed the company and asked if they had any homeschool discounts. I received a reply within 30 minutes. Here is what they said:
      “We can definitely use US mail for your order and just charge you $3.50. This option however is not found on our website but once you place your order you can call us toll free at 877-773-7705 and we can change.”

  5. This summer I wrote a post on summer reading incentive programs – just scroll down towards the bottom for additional create your own programs. The ones at the top have expired “summer” programs. There are other links to printables and ideas. I actually mentioned a beaded necklace incentive program wish I knew about this website or the one mentioned above at that time. I ran out of time and couldn’t get a photo example posted. LOL! Here is the website address if anyone is interested in taking a peek
    God bless,

  6. Thanks Erica,
    I will do the same! One more thing I may do is to give them double beads if they read books in Spanish, or biographies, science books, etc. My kids love fiction but they are in the age they need to read other types of books too.

  7. HI, Erica,
    Love this idea, is so colourful. Can i ask you? That means you needs to have a lot of tags for them to exchange?

  8. Christine says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been wanting to have a reading incentive program in our homeschool. You did all the work! I just ordered my tags and plan to get started, right away. I am sure my children will love this. Thank you for taking time to share what you do in your school and for making so many things available to help others. What a blessing you are. May you receive blessings to overflowing for all that you do.

  9. Here is a suggestion. College old radio shows and let them listen to an old radio show as a reward.

  10. Here is a suggestion. Collect old radio shows and let them listen to an old radio show as a reward.

  11. Hi Erica

    Great idea, just for motivation for the company. I will implement once I can purchase the packet they are throwing together for homeschoolers. I would love to see that before committing to such a project. Neat idea again, thank you for sharing.

  12. Next year, if you so desire, you ca utilize the Book it program from pizza hut

    In my house, we just implemented an ice cream party. It is really a delayed gratification project. Each week we are working on filling in our response journals, which require a bit more work than just a reading log. Then on Fridays, if they have done the response logs all week, I pull out part of the ice cream sundae components onto a special part of the counter. 4th friday of reading all week we have a sundae party…. My explanation probably isn’t very clear…. I will probably have to modify. But it’s what we re trying this month.

  13. Hello Erica,
    I love this idea. My girls like to read but they don’t love it. I’m hoping that this idea will encourage them to read more on their own. How many dog tags did you order? I only have three kids and wondering how many to get. Thanks for your help.


  14. I just came across this through pinterest. I follow your blog but somehow missed this post. I LOVE this idea, however the shipping is crazy! Do you know if they have come up with the homeschooling package you mentioned? Thanks in advance.

  15. love the skateboard tags! love this idea for my dyslexic and my early reader. my 7th grader asked if she could do it too… 🙂

  16. I think this a very good idea for my son whom love to read and is jest learning.

  17. KimberlyBH says:

    I just love all of your ideas. Inspirational.

  18. Thanks for this post! Just printed out the reading log for my kiddos. Love it!

  19. I love this idea Erica! We don’t quite have the space right now. We have a small school room, which doubles as a playroom (believe it or not! – it’s only 7’10” x 9’3″ and we lose a couple of inches on the shorter wall because of our heaters). I am going to attempt something similar, but have to figure out where to put it 😉 By the way, I love your new school room and the birds 🙂

  20. This is Brilliant!

  21. I LOVED this idea and went to order. I noticed there was a $5.00 handling fee attached to each tag if I didn’t order a minimum of 24 of each design. I called School Life and explained that I homeschool and if there was anyway to remove the (13) $5 handling charges (I picked out 13 different tag designs) and they were completely unwilling to work with me. This company is not good for the homeschooling family unfortunately. Just a heads up. You may want to stop promoting their company. It was going to cost me $78 for 39 tags, 5 chains and that was BEFORE shipping was calculated. Bummer deal. Off to see if I can find something at Oriental Trading. I would welcome any other reading incentive ideas! Thank you!

    • Lara Wutzke says:

      After seeing that the cost was going to be too much on Imagestuff and BoostPromotions, I looked all over even ebay. Then, I finally tried Etsy…. I just got some 60 tags and 3 chains for my homeschool for about $15 from a great Etsy store. They are called ‘AcademicBragTags’. GREAT DEAL, and they can also custom make them!!

  22. For those of you still looking for brag tags, has a large selection of downloadable choices. You will have to print and laminate, but I still think that might be the way to go. . . no shipping charges and you don’t have to buy 30 of the exact same tag.

  23. Love this idea and have been searching for something like this.

    However, I can’t find anything more homeschool related. I have two daughters and even if I find some on TPT, I have to print 30 of them when I only need two.

    Does anybody know of a more homeschool friendly way to do this?

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