Books play a big part in our home. And not just as dust catchers.
Growing up, you would often find me in a quiet corner, constantly pushing my glasses up on my nose, deep in my latest novel. From Enid Blyton to Sidney Sheldon, my taste ran a gamut of fairy tale adventures to sleazy celebrities, and I liked it all. To add to the fun because my Dad was in the Indian Army I had unlimited access to the Military library usually housed in an old colonial building in the cantonment. I wish I had pictures to share with you but you’ll have to take my word for it, Army libraries are the perfect place to escape the Indian summer heat.
So when my oldest started getting lost in books well before expected, we didn’t think it was remarkable. Books have been an intrinsic part of my childhood, and I thought it would be the same for my kids.
But not all my kids!
Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and TD Summer Reading Club and have received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are honest and my own.
A love of reading #TDReads
My oldest is turning 12 soon. She loves camping, nature hikes, Ultimate Frisbee, and reading, all with equal fervour. Her love for real-life adventures translates seamlessly to fantasies on paper. From Geronimo Stilton to Percy Jackson, she is moving steadily through genres. My younger daughter also loves nature hikes and camping, but reading was a different story.
Age 4 came and went. And then came the 5th birthday. Progress, yes, but no big reading milestones!
Stick to the Routine
For years my husband and I have had the same bedtime routine with the kids – Dinner, showers, followed by bedtime reading. When they were little we would take turns reading them their favourite stories. Today our older one takes her favourite books along with her to bed. Our youngest wants to do everything like her older sister, and even better but reading independently has been a barrier.
School support and reading at home have helped to some degree. But I really wanted my kids to have a love of reading, and of stories.
TD Summer Reading Club
Summer time means a break from the usual routine but to prevent the kids from going through the dreaded summer slide over the years we’ve signed the kids up for the TD Summer Reading Club. If you haven’t heard of this program, you really should check it out. It’s amazing how a small booklet can foster a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, and encourage reading in kids.
And it was during the summer that the most unexpected thing happened.
Catching up with your older sibling
It was coming up to the end of the school year and my older daughter decided to clean out her room. She organized her books – alphabetically, by author’s first name, and she didn’t stop there. She started a “Borrow-a- Book” program for her little sister. A weekly book that my youngest could choose independently, read, and had to also treat with respect. The cost for this exclusive setup – 25 cts a week with a very strict late fee!
My oldest had created a library for her little sister. And a little side income for herself but let’s not dwell on that right now. Hurray for capitalism!
Over time I have seen my daughter’s love of books blossom. She has more confidence in her abilities in school and trusts that she can improve even in skills that had so far been beyond her.
The journey continues this summer and the kids have yet again signed up for the TD Summer Reading Club at our local library. I’m hoping that my youngest and her love for books will only grow and eventually meet up with her sister’s. She is, after all, in a hurry to catch up with her sister in so many other ways.
Many kids need a boost to help with reading. Whether it’s an incentive from your older sister or support from the local library; you never know what inspires a love of reading. That’s why initiatives like the TD Summer Reading Club are invaluable in helping kids explore reading in their own way. Sponsored by TD and developed by Toronto Public Library in partnership with Library and Archives Canada, the TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s biggest, bilingual summer reading program for kids of all ages. It is helping children build a lifelong love of reading and is available at 2,000 public libraries across the country.
2017 is a special year in so many ways. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the TD Summer Reading Club invites kids to celebrate what makes books, libraries and Canada great. A special list of Top Recommended Reads has been put together to highlight 10 English titles and 10 French titles that showcase the diversity and talents of Canadian writers and illustrators.
Enter a Giveaway For A Set Of 10 Books #TDReads
To help everyone join in the celebration we are excited to be giving away a set of 10 top books from the TD Summer Reading Club list of recommended reads. The books are for kids <12 and you can find the complete list here.
The contest is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) till August 18 11:59 pm.
Go ahead and enter below, and join in the summer time celebration.