This is more of a Proud Mummy Alert post than anything else, so be prepared for lots of spouting about how great my kids are…
At the beginning of the summer holidays (mid-July here in the UK), the library started a challenge for all school children – to read 6 books throughout the holidays. That works out at 1 book a week. They called it the ‘Creepy House Challenge’, and for every two books the children read, they were given a pack of stickers (the scratch and sniff kind) to put on a poster. They were also signed off on a form, and if they complete the challenge, they will be given a medal and certificate when they go back to school, during a small ceremony in assembly (I assume).
It’s probably not all that surprising that my children love to read. We have a routine whereby Daddy reads them at least one, if not two, bedtime stories. They also do their homework reading with me after dinner or first thing in the morning. My son is only 4 so still learning how to read, but my daughter (who will be 6 next week) is able to read on her own, and quite often reads at least a book a day anyway.
So, at the beginning of the holidays, we went off to the library and got their first library cards and began the challenge. 4 weeks into the challenge, and we went back this morning to return their third lot of books – and if you’re any good at maths, you will have figured out that they have completed the challenge already! Yup – 6 books in 4 weeks, leaving 2 weeks to spare!!
But we didn’t just dump the books at the library and go home happy, no we picked up even more books. And my daughter has read them already. 1 hour we’ve been home when I hear the words: “Mummy, I’ve read my books…”
I think I’m breeding bookworms…
I’ve had a lot of people comment on how much Becca reads – many are surprised that she is happy to sit with a book instead of playing on computers etc. Now, I will say that she does love the PC and my tablet, and she does watch far too much TV (my fault), but she does love to read as well. And it made me think about parenting techniques. Does it make me a bad parent that my 6 year old isn’t as computer literate as some of her friends? Does it make me a bad parent that my 6 year old doesn’t play outside as much as her brother because she’d rather be inside reading, threading, sewing, or drawing? I don’t think so, but there are some out there who seem to think that she will struggle at school because she’s not as technologically capable as other children. I’ve even been accused of being old-fashioned. To that I say – it’s her choice.
I’m proud of my children and their love of books. I refuse to stifle their imagination or creativity by buying them handheld consoles. They’re not deprived of computer games – we have an XBox, tablets, PC, laptops, and smart phones – I just think that they will be able to disappear into those as teenagers, and while they are young and their minds are developing, I should be encouraging their development with life skills, and let’s face it – reading is a skill that is necessary in life. If you couldn’t read, you wouldn’t be reading this!!
The only downside to their love of reading is that I have to be very careful of what I’m reading and writing since they also love to read over my shoulder. In fact my daughter has just read that entire sentence back to me… So no Dirty Words for me until they’re in bed!! It also means I won’t be writing or editing until they go back to school.
My daughter has expressed an interest in writing stories as well, which is probably only natural considering she is a true bookworm, artist, and has writer-genes. So look out for R. D. Howard – writer extraordinaire – in about 15 years time!!