5 Free Printable Reading Log Templates and PDFs

If you’re a parent of school age children… you know what a reading log is.

And most likely, your child’s teacher has suggested you either download a reading log template… or provided you with one in your child’s homework folder.

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This is usually the case for younger elementary students. 

If you aren’t familiar with the reading log template… or are new to the concept… fear not!

I will explain it to you.

Simply put, a reading log template is a student-kept record of books they’ve read over a specific period. It’s generally sorted by date, and keeps them accountable for reading on a regular basis.

Parents are usually required to initial this log daily.

Let’s face it… teachers don’t have enough hours in a working day to teach their students everything they need to learn for the year. So it makes sense that some things would need to be completed at home.

Reading is one of those things. 

Help your child build the reading habit by using these reading log template pdf.

Is the Reading Log Really Necessary? Can’t we just trust our kids to read?

In fact, reading is typically assigned as homework these days… along with math, science, social studies, etc.

It is very common among students in grades K-4.

Trust me.

I know.

I have two children in these lower grades… and two in pre-school.

The reading log comes home nightly, tasking them each to read for a minimum of 15-20 minutes.

The younger children are simply tasked with filling in the date and title of the book they read.

The older children are asked to provide the same information... in addition to the book’s author and amount of time they read.

Students in grades 5-8 may be asked to provide even greater detail, such as:

  • Date
  • Title of Book
  • Author
  • Amount of Time Read
  • Total Pages Read
  • Comments/Notes Section
  • Questions Section

The thought here being that, as the grows older, he or she should be working on reading retention and comprehension.

And also developing original thoughts and questions based on the text.

That is why you will often see book reports and/or oral presentations at this age (3rd or 4th grade, depending on the school district).

It also prepares them for the standardized tests they will take in high school.

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Is the Reading Log Really Necessary? Can’t we just trust our kids to read? 

Sadly, the answer to that is a big “no!".

Unless you have one of those children that loves to read, like my oldest daughter (hooray!)... reading is often seeing as a chore.

Boring.

An afterthought.

Something you do when the power goes out... or your tablet dies.

Today’s children are inundated with technology.

It’s everywhere.

There is no escaping it.

Here's how to help your child read more books and how to use reading logs pdf and reading log template middle school.

By the time students reach grade 6 to 8, most are expected to be reading like “young adults". It’s important to teach our children the literature of the past and introduce them to the culturally relevant literature of today.

And while that can be a wonderful thing… it is often the one thing standing in the way of raising a society of children with imaginations.
Children capable of originality.

Empathy.

I mean, most of the greatest books of all time have been made into movies.

Even re-made.

Creativity is dead, people! Let’s take a moment of silence.

So if a child can read the 1,000 page book… or simply download the 2 hour film version… which do you think they will choose?

9 times out of 10, they will choose the movie.

The English major in me is dying a little bit each day.

It’s ok.

Our kids will be ok.

But they do need to read.

They need to appreciate the feel of turning pages in their fingers.

They need to develop their own picture of what is going on in the story.

They need to think outside the box.

And the most likely won’t do this unless they are being forced to.

Unless their grade depends on it.

Enter the reading log template.

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Extra! Extra! Get Your Free Reading Log Templates Here!

Like I said, there is a good chance your child’s teacher will provide a reading log template to them… or else a link to follow to find one on their own.

But because I’m so nice… I’ve gone ahead and created some of my own. 

They will be grouped into the following areas:

  1. Early Elementary
  2. Elementary
  3. Intermediate/Middle School
  4. Summer Reading
  5. Reward Charts

Yes, reward charts.

Kids like to feel as if they are working towards something tangible.

And, a little bribery never hurt anyone.

It’s Parenting 101, people.  

Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little from your kids.

And it’s ok.

The Early Elementary Reading Log Template (Grades Pre-K through 1)

Follow these tips and learn how to use reading log templates and PDFs including reading logs with summary and printable reading log with parent signature.

The Early Elementary Reading Log Template

Want a copy of The Early Elementary Reading Log Template? Click the button below to download the PDF!

The point of these logs is to keep it simple.

Simple.

Simple.

Children not only have a short attention span at this age... but each one’s ability to spell, read and write varies so widely from one to the next in a classroom.

One child, for instance, may still be having trouble writing their name… while another can write short sentences.

And an educator cannot single students out... or provide individualized templates… so it’s best to keep it simple for both the child and parent.

Simplified Reading Log Templates include:

  1. Date
  2. Title of Book

The Elementary Reading Log Template (Grades 2-5)

Download these reading log templates and PDFs for your kids in elementary and middle school.

The Elementary Reading Log Template

Want a copy of The Elementary Reading Log Template? Click the button below to download the PDF!

While they are not reading Tolstoy just yet, most children this age are being introduced to chapter books.

Chapter books vary in lengthy and difficulty.

In fact, many districts nowadays will assign students with a color coded reading level, based on the “Accelerated Reader" model.

The idea behind the model is to steer young readers towards books they can read successfully on their own.

Getting them to read independently is the goal… by eliminating the frustration and embarrassment that comes from forcing them to read something that is above their particular skill level. 

And the hope is to foster a love of reading from a young age.

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That being said, the reading log templates for this age should include a bit more detail:

  1. Date
  2. Title of Book
  3. Author
  4. Amount of Time Read

The Intermediate/Middle School Reading Log Template (Grades 6-8)

Learn how to use a free reading log template and download these monthly reading log with parent signature and other reading logs for middle school.

The Intermediate/Middle School Reading Log Template

Want a copy of The Intermediate/Middle School Reading Log Template? Click the button below to download the PDF!

By the time students reach these grade levels, most are expected to be reading like “young adults".

Impressive, right?

I remember being asked to read some of these in high school.

Some I haven’t even read.

And I’m 40…

Plus a few.

While the list may appear daunting for a child age 11-14, the times they are a changin’.

They’ve been.

We live in a very different world now..

One where it’s important to not only teach our children the literature of the past… but also introduce them to the culturally relevant literature of today.

And in doing so, we need to make sure they fully understand what they are reading.

The best way to do that is to open a discussion.

And the best way to start a discussion is to have them take notes... pose questions.

The expanded reading logs at this age should reflect that with:

  1. Date
  2. Title of Book
  3. Author
  4. Amount of Time Read
  5. Total Pages Read
  6. Comments/Notes Section
  7. Questions Section

The Summer Reading Log Template (Just for Kicks)

If you want your child to build the reading habit, use these reading log templates to keep track of the books he reads.

The Summer Reading Log Template

Want a copy of The Summer Reading Log Template? Click the button below to download the PDF!

As much as they’d probably enjoy it… your kids should not be allowed to sit around all summer long playing video games, watching tv, letting their laundry pile up for a week.

Kids still need to keep busy.

They need to stay active.

They need to keep their brains sharp.

Whether it’s maintaining your kids' normal chores, signing up for a camp (or two), getting a summer job, or joining a reading club at their local library.

There is more to summer than just lazy days filled with fireflies and ice cream.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It sounds lovely, actually!

But kids need to keep up some semblance of a routine during summer vacation... or else they run the risk of having a hard time adjusting when it’s time to go back to school.

The alarm clock.

The rushed breakfasts.

The packed lunch.

The bus.

The homework.

Oh, the homework!

It only gets worse as they get older.

And in some way, not just for them… but for you.

The parent.

I mean, what 2nd grader really builds their own diorama?

What 14 year old drives themselves to the library to research the turmoil in Afghanistan for a group history project?

Believe me…

Structure is good for kids.

And keeping it up, to some degree, over the summer will benefit them… and you!

So, why not a summer reading log template?

This can be light.

Anything goes.

Get creative.

Offer bonus incentives.

Sky’s the limit.

Hint: if you already have their reading list for the next school year…  you may want to incorporate some of those books.

But that, my friend, is your call.

You’ll know if your child is behind, ahead, on par with where they should be.

Make summer reading fun, not a chore!

The Reward Chart Reading Log Template (Because Some Kids Need a Little Push)

Check out these free reading log templates and PDFs including reading log template middle school.

The Reward Chart Reading Log Template

Want a copy of The Reward Chart Reading Log Template? Click the button below to download the PDF!

Let’s be honest…

Some kids aren’t as motivated or cooperative as others when it comes to reading… or homework in general.

They have other things on their mind.

Other interests.

Friends.

Activities.

For these kids, the last thing they want to do is anything resembling schoolwork on their summer vacation.

But you’re not their to be their friend.

You’re not trying to win any popularity contest.

You’re their parent…

And you are expected to give them the push they need to succeed in life.

Lucky for you… reward chart reading log templates can work wonders!

Rewards can include:

  • Stay up 1 hour late
  • Day trip to a water or theme park
  • A matinee at the movies
  • A new boogie board
  • Back to school clothes shopping spree 
  • Gymnastics lessons

Again, be creative.

Do what works for you and your child.

Then, decide on the rewards structure.

There are multiple types to choose from:

  • X amount of books read per week
  • X amount of hours read per week
  • X amount of books read by end of summer
  • Complete one book above your current level by end of summer
  • Extra Credit (like a book report or presentation)

Choose the incentive that your child will be most interested in… then, together, come up with a timeline and prize.

For instance, your child may prefer to earn smaller rewards weekly.

Whereas another child may prefer to work towards one or two larger rewards… even if it takes a bit longer.

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The Bottom Line on Reading Log Templates

When utilizing a reading log template with your child, you need to keep in mind a few things:

  1. The age of the child
  2. The reading level of the child
  3. The child’s level of independence (whether or not they can they fill out the chart by themselves)
  4. The personality of the child
Download these reading log templates and PDFs to help your child with home reading.

Children not only have a short attention span, but each one’s ability to spell, read and write varies so widely from one to the next in a classroom.

Using these factors as a guide, you will be able to print out the chart that works best for them.

Conversely, if a generic chart is already provided to you by the child’s teacher and it doesn’t seem to be working for them… don’t be afraid to question if there are other options to meet your particular child’s needs.

Even have your own suggestions handy.

No educator wants a to make a reading log template torture for a child… or for you.

And most will happily agree to let you find one that suits your child’s style.

In all honesty, they probably welcome constructive suggestions from parents… as it makes their job just a little bit easier.

It’s no easy task addressing so many different learning abilities and styles in one classroom.

Involved parents can play a vital role in a teacher’s mission… which is to further the education of every child so that they succeed.

In the end, that is what we all want.

So take the initiative.

Research your reading log templates.

Get excited about them with your child.

Perhaps even start one of your own for your books?

Whatever works.

Just be sure to never leave them with the impression that reading is a chore… but instead treat it as the key to opening so many doors in their life. 

They will thank you for it.

Maybe not today.

Maybe not tomorrow.

But they will.

Trust me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.

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