The importance of reading to children is well-documented and I think it’s something we do pretty well in our home. It certainly helps that both Ethan and Sarah love books!
Of course, our evening family devotion time involves reading children’s Bible story books. But also on most afternoons these days, when one of us takes the kids upstairs for nap time, Sarah uses sign language for book, informing us that even though’s she’s tired and needs a nap, we have to read first.
It’s amazing how quickly children learn stories. Several months ago I was especially amazed when Ethan recited an entire book on tractors nearly word for word (including phrases like “massive pulling machine,” “its dual wheels spread out its enormous weight,” “compact tractors help keep parks and golf courses neat and clean,” plus specs on how much horsepower the engines have).
Ethan helped us develop good reading habits early, though. He loved books from the beginning. Interestingly, Sarah didn’t seem too interested in books when we brought her home. It took her a while but once she got into them, she really went gung-ho. A couple days ago, while we were busy doing something, Joleen overheard Ethan “reading” to Sarah (a book she had chosen).
We certainly hope they’re habits that will last a lifetime!