Today was a great day. My husband and I got to visit my sister and her family in their new home about an hour away. We got to tour their house and the town, and we got to spend time together and catch up.
As we took a tour around their house, I noticed several things about ways that my sister and her husband were building a reading habit for their daughter, my 6-year old niece.
Their bookshelves outnumber mine in my house. That's saying something.
They have a wide variety of reading material in their home -- from novels to nonfiction texts, to cookbooks, to newspapers, and lots of magazines.
While we ate lunch, my niece insisted that she be able to bring part of the newspaper to the table to enjoy a bit of the comic section.
While we were playing with dolls and playing in her room, I noticed a growing number of books on her own shelf, too. I know this is a habit that her Mom and Dad have been cultivating from a very early age in her life--the routine and habit of reading daily -- so this is not too surprising to see many books on her bookshelf.
One of the choice activities in which she wanted to participate today was "writing books" together. She wrote dialogue and drew detailed pictures to illustrate a simple plot.
I love the reading atmosphere that my sister and her husband are building for their daughter. Leading by example is surely the best way for children to learn the power of reading. I hope they know what an amazing job they are doing.
What a joy to spend time there today, and to be able to take notice of these excellent examples of guiding and supporting the love of reading. My niece will most certainly grow up to be a lifelong reader. The signs are already there, and the modeling, time, energy, and support they have provided for her have helped her to already love reading and writing.
My heart was glad today for the visit, for the opportunity to catch up, and to see their new place. But I was so glad to have been able to notice the obvious love of reading in this house.
It made my heart happy.
Read on, little girl.