Zach and Teagan got mail yesterday- a thank you note from my great-grandparents. Written in my mom's handwriting.
Teagan opened the envelope:
Dear Teagan and Zach,
Thank you very much for the Santa Clauses. We like them very much. Your gingerbread house is in our apartment. It makes us smile and think of you.
Great-Grandma and Grandpa
Aside from "Clauses" and "apartment" and "gingerbread," Teagan read every word of the letter by herself!
She's been reading words here and there. Sometimes she reads by sight and sometimes she sounds things out. She gets excited when she recognizes words. There are books she can read on her own- books designed for early readers.
But this was just a letter. And she opened it up and read it all by herself.
Teagan, my kindergartener who turns 6 in March, is a reader. And I am so excited for all the possibilities and doors that this opens for her! Jeff and I are both readers and both of us hope the kids will be readers so we can all share that passion together.
I read like crazy as a kid. I'd read a book 20 times. One of my favorites was Black Beauty- I wish I still had the copy I used to own. The artwork in it was gorgeous and really formed a lot of my imagining of the story. Even silly little tween books without much of a plot would be read over and over- a girl trying to call the cute boy she has a crush on who calls a wrong number and ends up really liking the guy on the other end until she sees him and realizes he isn't a good looking athletic fellow or the book about the girl who had psychic visions and could predict future events and predicted the collapse of a bridge. I had a thing for the Black Stallion books, too. And Nancy Drew. And so many others!!
Jeff enjoyed reading, too. He's a sci-fi and fantasy fan. But he didn't start enjoying reading until high school. He doesn't remember books being a big part of his childhood- but it was in high school that he discovered Star Trek novels and the rest is history.
Jeff and I both have memories of being told not to read at the dinner table. So we have this plan that we will have regular reading nights at our dinner table (provided we ever have a dinner table again) where we can all bring our books to the table and read while we eat. Maybe we'll have a family book club and read together and discuss what we're reading as we go. But reading will definitely be part of our family culture.
Do you read? What about your kids? Did you encourage them to read? How do you incorporate literacy into your family culture?