It's time for the summer reading challenge - running in a library near you!
I took my boys into the library to sign up for the annual challenge. The eldest (now 10) didn't want to do it this year. "I read anyway, Mum," he said, which is now true. However, my third son (aged 6) was really keen.
I always encourage the boys to push themselves. "This is supposed to be a reading challenge," I say. "So push yourself to read harder books than you did last year." And they do.
Last year, our third son chose picture books and was reading them with considerable help. This is the year he has become a reader, and he was excited to pick out his own books from the beginner readers section, discovering stories he is familiar with in simplified form. He chose Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and two Just So Stories, one of which he began to read right away as he waited for his brother. We left the library, him with his nose in his book and he carried on reading when we got home.
Whenever it happens - at 3 years old or at 10 - it is a wonderful thing to see a child realise the reading code they have managed to crack means they can read story books for themselves.
Son number 3 kept reading until he had finished six books, and 2 days later, he went back to the library to collect his final stickers and medal. He was so proud, and he was the first local completer. That is an advantage of being a home schooler!