In the past few weeks I have been trying to work out something out. My now 6 year old son made outstanding progress in his reading in his first two years of school, despite starting school unable to write his name and with little understanding of phonics. But, according to the schools ‘official recording’, he made no observable progress between mid June and mid October. This was despite continuing to read and share books over the summer holidays. It is with everything I have learnt in the past few years from the fabulous ‘bookish’ communities of Twitter that I am privileged to be part of, that I have been able to reflect on and understand what has happened.
I now realise that a significant part of the reason for this has noting to do with my son. But, to do with a number of school changes both before and after the school holidays which removed many of the elements that were supporting his development as a reader, and as a child who wants to read. But, the good news is thanks to so many people I have talked to about books and reading on Twitter I have been able to able to tune into my child as a reader. From those of you that have time and time again reminded me that picture books are valuable what ever your age. Those of you that are reading teachers or TA’s doing wonderful things in your classroom and school leaders passionate about putting reading for pleasure at the heart of what you do. The many individuals that have chatted about books with me, whether it was because I wanted to find out something about the book or I just wanted to relax chatting about books with people that were equally passionate about them as I am. Thank you to you all. Because it is what I have learnt (and am still learning) from being part of fabulous ‘bookish’ Twitter communities which has enabled me to identify how I can support my son at home. We have gone in less than a month from a child to who got dangerously close to loosing interest in reading altogether to a child which is now taking his first steps towards becoming a reader not just this year, but for many years to come. Thank you for making a big difference to a bright, imaginative, curious but highly individually child you haven’t even met.
That moment when a child first begins to articulate what it is they like to read is always a magical one. This weekend my son said: “I like books with activities in the back (in this case he meant recipes). Can we get some more of these. I think they may help ease me into chapter books”.
You can find me on Twitter @melissacreate15
Theres are far too many individuals from authors, illustrators, librarians, book bloggers, parents, teachers, TA’s and school leaders that I could not possible name you all here. But, would like to make a special thank you to three communities: @WomeEd @Reading_Rocks_ @OpenUni_RfP