From the moment we first knew of the existence of each of our children, we have been reading to them. We are lovers of books in this house and would love nothing more than to infect the world with more lovers of books. It has always been a rule that when our children learned to read they could read anything. ANYTHING! As long as they were willing to put a book in their hands and open their eyes and their brains to the wonders that lay before them.
We were thrilled last summer to learn that the elementary school that Eli attended joined in on the Scholastic Read for the World Record summer event. Children from schools all over the world compete to be the number one school in number of minutes read and combine their total minutes to beat the world record. Last summer our elementary school placed 6th in the world and was listed by name in the Scholastic edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for 2011. Eli was a part of that and couldn’t have been more proud when we bought the book and he read the school’s name in print.
This summer we have two readers in our home. The elementary school is once again participating in the world record event. And we signed up for the reading club at the library as well as the local bookstore. The bookstore asks that children read 8 books and they can bring in their log for a free book. The library asks for 12 hours of reading to be logged online with various prizes to be given out at a variety of hour levels. Scholastic provides a reading challenge of so many minutes each week and then rewards those who reach that challenge with a short excerpt of a book to spark the reader’s interest in something new.
The moms of our house threw in a bonus. Meet the challenge that Scholastic sets each week and get $10 worth of books from the bookstore. Keep in mind that the Scholastic challenge goes up each week by 25 minutes and this week’s challenge is 175 minutes. I am happy to say that we’ve joyfully shelled out some hard-earned money almost every week since school got out. The boys have really risen to the challenge of reading and have expanded their reading repertoire. Both are excelling to read far above their grade level and it is delightful to watch.
Tonight I had the argument with my child that I’ve been waiting for since the thought of having children first entered my brain. I fought with Eli to stop reading and go to bed.
We journeyed to the book store tonight to get the books that they earned by meeting the reading challenge last week. We never get a bag for the books because both boys are excited to look through them as soon as they are seated in the car. They usually read a few pages or skim through the book the entire ride home.
Tonight Eli was so excited that he finished the book that he’d gotten at the library and started on one of the books he bought. We got home and I had to pry the book from his fingers to get him into pajamas and get his teeth brushed. He negotiated for 30 minutes of reading and I took him down to 20. When the time was up he negotiated for more. I reminded him that he could read as much as he wanted tomorrow. But my eyes aren’t tired yet and reading is the only way to get them tired mommy.
I heard rumblings from his room after I demanded that he go to sleep, I took the book from his hands and I turned out his light. I’m certain if I were to climb the stairs to his room right now I would find his desk lamp on and his book laying across his chest. A scene completed in my bedroom on more than one occasion. A scene I would be proud to find.