I was last in school reading with the children on Thursday 13th March 2020 and things were going well. By the end of the week lock-down was in place and schools were shut.

My first thoughts were for the children. It quickly became apparent that school closures were to last and I felt particularly sorry for those children who would finish and move to a higher school without the usual farewell.

I immediately wrote a letter to the school for one child I'd been reading with in that position, giving encouragement and best wishes for the future and reminding him of how much he had improved - tremendously - with the hope that he continues his reading progress. 

Missing my reading sessions badly, I was keen to keep connected with Coram Beanstalk online.

The opportunity arose to 'attend' a virtual coffee morning to discuss children's books which was so much better than I had anticipated and increased my enthusiasm for the day when I can get back in school. It was so encouraging and eye-opening to see how others view the children's books and how we can use them in such a variety of ways.
Imagine, here's me thinking a book was just a book - how wrong can you be?

I've also been reading online with my grandchildren.

I am very fortunate; I have six grandchildren aged between 5yrs and 11yrs, all with differing interests. I've put them all to work in trying out new stories with me, new books and old books, online via Zoom and Skype. This time reading with them online has helped me cope no end. We've certainly managed to improve our discussion of books although I'm not sure who gets the most out of it, them or me!
They keep me on my toes and I improve their reading skills and I'm sure my listening skills have improved in being able to enhance the experience for them.
Both the virtual book chat with fellow Coram Beanstalk reading helpers, and the online reading with my grandchildren, have helped me discover how many ways there are to help children to really enjoy reading. And I'm looking forward with enthusiasm to getting back to school - whenever that may be!