Family Life

Jul 20

I’ve heard many of my parent friends say that the summer holidays are when they “get their children back”. The final few weeks of the summer term are so busy with sports day, summer fêtes, music showcases, prize-giving, school reports and school trips, that it’s an achievement (and relief), to make it through to the end. Little I loves school and is happiest when she’s learning, but I could see that end of term lethargy was beginning to set in, and that she really was ready for a break.

She often takes a while to adjust to the sudden lack of routine when the holidays begin, as her days at school are so busy. But this time she’s a little bit older and wiser, and reading has been her way to unwind. Her school has cleverly set a reading track for the summer holidays, including well-known authors such as Roald Dahl, Jill Murphy, Dick King-Smith, Jill Tomlinson and Julia Donaldson. Little I couldn’t wait to get started, and she went through her bookshelves to see which authors she already had, and created a pile of books to read. We then popped down to the local library to pick up some authors she didn’t own.

So the first day of her school holidays was spent entirely snuggled up on her gorgeous Room to Grow beanbag, completely absorbed in her reading pile. By the end of day one she had read ‘Secret Kingdom: Starlight Adventure’ by Rosie Banks (all 200 pages!), ‘Clarice Bean, That’s Me’ by Lauren Child, ‘Magic Animal Friends’ by Daisy Meadows and ‘The Princess and the Wizard’ by Julia Donaldson; all from cover to cover.

Room to Grow beanbag

The theme continued into day two when she spent most of the afternoon reading to her Granny in the garden, and by day three we were worrying how we could continue to fuel this voracious reading, if it continued for the full eight weeks of her holiday! Nothing gives me greater joy than to see my grown-up girl, relaxed on her beanbag within our ‘library’, totally engrossed in a book. I love seeing the sorts of books that grab her too, and when she discovers a writer that she loves, I’m just as eager as her to rush down to the library and see what else we can pick up by the same author.

By the end of the first week, she has gradually settled in her new, more relaxed holiday routine, and is no longer reading quite so manically. She says she’s still missing school, but I think she’s happy to be at home. I know I LOVE having my girl around, and won’t want her to go back!


Disclaimer: For the purpose of this post I was very kindly sent the beanbag featured by Room to Grow. All opinions stated here are of course my own.

About the Author

Wendy McAuliffe

Social media & online PR consultant and trainer, and ex-journalist. Founder and Director of Populate Digital and Mum of two. Living by the sea in Bournemouth. @wendymcauliffe.

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