Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Family Literacy Day — created by ABC Life Literacy Canada and held annually on January 27 — highlights the “importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.”
Literacy is the foundation for learning, and it begins at home. Family Literacy takes place during daily routines in life as parents, children, and family members use literacy at home and in their community.
Research tells us that we can set kids up for success as learners when we engage them in conversations, read together regularly, provide meaningful writing experiences, and let them see us reading and learning too. Positive parent-child interaction every day is key at every stage of a child’s language and literacy development.
As a parent, grandparent, or caregiver, you’re likely already engaging the children in your life in meaningful family literacy activities. Looking for fresh ideas?
Inspired by ABC Life Literacy, here are 10 ways to engage your family in literacy and learning on Family Literacy Day, and every day:
- Start the day with a story. It beats the morning grumps every time.
- Write a note for another family member. Leave it somewhere you know they’ll find it – in their favourite box of cereal, their sock drawer or lunch box. (We know a mom who writes on bananas: “Have a great day! Now eat me.”)
- Search online for fun things to do. Plan your next family day.
- Hunt in the newspaper together for a “good news story,” enjoy the comics, or see how your favourite sports team is doing.
- Start a family communication book. Leave a blank notebook out in a common area where anyone can leave a message for other family members. Messages can range from “Thanks for tidying the play room” to “Remember to buy cheese!” In the short term, it can help with communication and increase family connectedness. In the long run, it might just become a family heirloom.
- Create a story with your family around the dinner table. Take turns writing one sentence at a time, then read the whole story aloud when you’re done. If you illustrate it, even the youngest can help.
- Older kids? Have a laugh with mad-libs. Use a published book or create your own!
- Driving? Try the alphabet game. Work together to find the letters of the alphabet — in order — on signs and license plates.
- Play a board game together.
- End the day with a new book or an old favourite.
Learning can happen at any time. “Practicing literacy together every day has tremendous benefits for both children and parents.” The possibilities are endless. Why not add one or two new ideas to what you’re already doing as a family?
Happy Family Literacy Day!