Thursday, 26 September 2019

Reading With My Five Year Old | Spring + Summer


Earlier on this month I shared my own little reading wrap up for the summer months, so I thought I'd sit down and do the same for Alexander (my son whose book journey I also document here on Reading with Jade)… Well, it's actually a two season wrap up, as although I wrote notes for his spring reading, I didn't actually write up the whole post. This is what spring & summer has looked like for my five year old, with regards to books.

WORLD BOOK DAY
Each spring World Book Day is celebrated (on the first Thursday of March), and here in the UK it is a pretty big deal with the schools. Each school has its own way of celebrating the event, with Alexander's school asking them to bring in their favourite book this year. 

Alexander's favourite book is everchanging, however he opted to share Sam Who Went to Sea with his classmates - this is a book about a river rat who fulfils his dream of sailing the seas.

SCHOOL BOOK FAIR
Another event that is well loved & treasured within the schools here is the annual book fair. I still have fond memories myself of flicking through the leaflet of books available from my own childhood... The leaflets aren't sent home anymore, at least not at Alexander's school, however the children are able to have a sneak peek of the books that'll be there on the day a couple of days beforehand. On this sneak peek Alexander spotted a book called Catch A Dinosaur (a nonfiction book including a see & spot section) and was really set on picking this up at the book fair. When the book fair arrived, he made a beeline for the book (remembering where it was in the layout) and we also bought another book in the Zoe's Rescue Zoo series. Alexander had been talking just that morning about how he'd like another book in this series (as we've completed all the ones owned), and it just so happened that the one being stocked at the book fair was one he didn't already own. We had one happy boy coming home from the book fair.

REFERENCING BOOKS
Alexander has started referencing his books for information, as opposed to always asking us a question to get an answer. He absolutely loves learning about things from his nonfiction/informational books, but he'd never really reached for them before to answer a question until early this year. Also, if we're watching an animal documentary (he loves these!), he'll often ask to pause it if a certain animal intrigues him and looks to see if he can find it in this big book of animals he has (1000 Animals).

DECLUTTERING BOOKS
Recently my husband and I were talking about Alexander progressing with books, especially with regards to transitioning from picture books to chapter books. Of course Alexander can read picture books as long as he wishes, but there will come a point where chapter books are more prevalent and preferred... To which Nathan asked about decluttering the picture books in the future. This will of course be done at some point in the distant future, but I found myself so emotionally struck by the thought of it.

Many of the books Alexander owns he has had since very, very young, with his bookshelf still containing a number of books from when he was a baby. Alexander is very lucky to have the book collection he has, and I feel so privileged to have nurtured a reader (so far anyway) and share in the beauty of storytelling with him. I have so many wonderful & fond memories of us cocooned in the magical world of children's books... Because of this, I think parting with books of his will be harder than even parting with my own books (which I do on a regular basis). Of course the time will come, and when it does I will just have to remind myself of these things, as well as be thankful in the knowledge that the books will be being passed on to other children and foster their own reading journey.

SUMMER READING CHALLENGE
Alexander took part in, and completed, the Summer Reading Challenge for the fourth year now.

The Summer Reading Challenge is run throughout the UK library system, with the aim of getting children to read, borrow books from the library, and generally be bookish.

ENJOYED FROM HIS SHELVES

ENJOYED FROM THE LIBRARY
Tom Percival (Bubble Trouble & Perfectly Norman) + Little Explorers (Dinosaurs & In the Rainforest & When I Grow Up)
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Reading with Alexander is one of my favourite things to do, and I love that I'm able to document that here.
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Thursday, 5 September 2019

Summer Reading Highlights


It has been a couple of months since I last blogged, and am now returning from my little break with some of my reading highlights from the summer months. I do tend to take a couple of months off blogging mid year, usually when the summer school holidays start to approach here in the UK, as I find my summer runs a lot more smoothly when I reduce the things I am wanting/needing to do. Although I stop posting here on my blog during that time, I do still keep up with my Twitter, as that definitely requires a lot less commitment - I've updated reading over there, shared book mail, and taken part in a couple of readathons (which I'll be talking more about in my highlights). 

So, here's all things bookish with me for the last two months... 

BOOK COUNT
I read a total of 17 books during July & August - 13 fiction & 4 nonfiction.

READATHONS
I took part in two readathons during the summer months - in July I took part in 24in48 (a weekend event) and in August I took part in Bout of Books (a week long event).

24IN48
If you're unfamiliar with 24in48, the main aim for the readathon is to read as much as possible with the goal of 24 hours read time within the 48 hour time period. I've never actually 'completed' the readathon as such by reading for a whole 24 hours, but it isn't a win or lose type of thing - just have fun reading more than you usually would.

I read for a total of 14 hours & 55 minutes and completed 4 books!

BOUT OF BOOKS
Much like the last readathon, the gist of Bout of Books is to read more than you usually would in a given time period - a week - and just have some bookish fun really with challenges, chats and being immersed more in a bookish community. This time around I didn't do any of the challenges, keeping it low pressure with my focus being reading.

Even though the event is a longer one, I technically read less than the 48 hour event, but of course circumstances & mood play a large part in any readathon - I ended Bout of Books having completed two books fully & reading 918 pages.

I think both readathons were successful in their own way, and I thoroughly enjoyed returning to these tried & true reading events for me.

REREADING HARRY POTTER
Before my summer break, I briefly mentioned my Harry Potter reread - I'm still rereading them, but not as a primary read.

I initially started my reread in physical book format, switching between my regular paperbacks & the illustrated editions, however I soon turned this reread into an audiobook only one. I have never listened to the audiobooks in full as a reread, and so it has been a lot of fun returning to the wizarding world in this way.

I'm currently on the 4th book in the series... So a way to go yet!

SLOWER READING PACE
I've found this summer that I have read at a much slower reading pace than in previous years - at one point going two weeks without having finished a book - and yet I didn't worry about it or think a slump was coming on... I just embraced the pace.

Just as with other areas of life, there are seasons to things: reading slow this summer just felt like the right thing to do. Savouring the books I was reading, and also sitting with them - absorbing them fully before moving on to another. I read quite a few books this summer that I found deeply thought provoking, as well as a couple of books that sent me on research projects having become fascinated with a topic.

As readers we are everchanging, and I do think the pace at which we read is something that adapts as we do. For now, I'm continuing with this slow pace.

NOTABLE BOOKS I READ

I hope you all had a great summer of reading!
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