Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Silent reading

"Luka is a really good reader. He can read chapter books longer than any of the year threes'," Lewis observed to me as I hung out the washing at the line. "You will be reading them by the end of the year," I reassured him. He is the youngest in his class, there is no hurry, he will get there. "I won't," he retorted. "Yes, you will," I answered back as he wandered off into the garden.

His class was reading Roald Dahl's The Twits that week and I had just finished reading it to Darcy, a chapter at a time, as Quinn slept in the middle of the day. Lewis picked the book up and took it to bed with him that night, snuggling beneath the covers with a torch while his brothers drifted off to sleep in the bunk below. The next morning Quinn and Darcy climbed the ladder and sat either side of him on the pillow as he read a chapter out loud. The book came to the breakfast table, and he dived to pick it up and keep reading as soon as he dropped his school bag by the steps that afternoon. By the next day he was ahead of the rest of the class, and by the end of the week he had moved on to the rest of Roald Dahl's collected works.

A whole new world has opened up to him now that he can read with confidence. And for me too. He can pull off an impromptu storytime for me when the house is getting hectic and I have dinner to put on. Quinn will sit happily on his lap as he patiently reads the same story, over and over. Darcy stands silently listening and watching on. Lewis sat quietly in the back seat and read a book from cover to cover while we drove home from Margaret River last week. I counted our blessings that he does not get carsick.

Of all the gifts my mother gave me as a child, our shared love of reading is perhaps the one I hold most dear. It is so beautiful to see that simple joy being passed on to the next generation as well. Nana posted down her favourite book from her childhood for me to read with Lewis this week. That moment at the end of each day when dinner is done and we can curl up on the couch together and read is one which I hold sacred.

The boys camped out in their teepee in our games room last night. Lewis made up their bed on the sheepskins and made sure there was a book and a teddy bear on everyone's pillow. What more does a boy need?


  1. How sweet! Books are my favourite too, and I think Charlie is following in his mother's footsteps :) we are reading so much Dr Suess at the moment, but I'm looking forward to chapter books in the future and have already started a collection. How nice that Lewis can entertain the others for a little while!

  2. How beautiful! What a credit to you and your partner! And himself!

  3. I'm at this wonderful stage as well. Monkey Boy is reading anything he can get his hands on, and I absolutely love seeing it. The magical world of escapism that you enter when you pick up those pages.


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