Nikolina had been visiting Nancy at the Book Nook in Wheatland, Wyoming, and has just arrived back at Nordic Needle with quite a selection of bookmarks. Nikolina said one of the highlights of her visit was helping to inventory over 5000 books!! However, the Book Nook is closing, but Nancy said that means more time for stitching! Here is a picture of Nikolina helping with a drawing at the Book Nook.
I asked Nikolina what she learned about reading when she was there. The first thing she told me was that reading increases your vocabulary. Coming from rural Norway, her English vocabulary is somewhat limited. She said that she learned a lot more words reading than she would have in general conversation. She particularly liked the children’s books with a lot of illustrations. I agreed and told her about the dictionary I was creating. I bought a wonderful English children’s illustrated dictionary for $1 at a garage sale. Now I am going through it writing in the Norwegian and Swedish words. It has really helped me associate pictures with words.
Reading also helped Nikolina with her journaling. Norwegian sentences have somewhat of a different sentence structure than English. Nikolina said that as she read she began to understand how to form sentences that made more sense to us.
One thing she told me was that reading saved energy. At first I thought she meant the energy it took to walk the dog or take an exercise class. She called me silly and said she meant electrical energy. Nikolina said it takes less electricity to run a lamp than it does all the electronic game stuff. Ryan added that she read somewhere that brain activity actually decreases while watching TV (brainwaves mimicking those during sleep), so that is another reason to pick up a good book. Interesting!
Lastly Nikolina said it is a great way to dream and travel without leaving home. She had always wanted to come to the United States, but she never figured she would get that chance. So she read a lot of books about the United States, our cities, and our traditions. She said that helped her feel more comfortable when she came to Nordic Needle. She was glad she knew about our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, which made them more enjoyable during her visits.
Nikolina has had some great adventures so far with her host families. I have asked her to share some of them in the next newsletter. We have to sit down and figure out her next stops. Unfortunately, she likes to linger at her host locations and she hasn’t been to as many places as I had hoped by now! Stay tuned!