According to the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), family literacy is when “two generations or more -- parents, children, and/or extended family members – are actively engaged in learning together.”
There are many things we can do as parents and teachers to promote family literacy. One of the easiest ways is to read together. The bedtime story is such a great way for family members to spend time together and read.
Doing homework with your child also promotes family literacy. Chances are, your child is learning the same material you learned in school, but in an entirely different way.
Having your child explain what she is learning will help her cement her knowledge and help you think about things in a different way. Valuing our children and students as teachers will increase their confidence.
Enjoying hobbies together is another way to promote family literacy. Both the child and adult are actively learning something they enjoy.
One of my favorite blogs, ReadWriteThink, gives several ideas of how teachers and families can work together to promote literacy.
Kick off National Family Literacy Day by inviting parents, grandparents, and other family members to your classroom for a family-school reading day.
• Invite students' family members to read a favorite story from their childhood, or their child's favorite bedtime story. (Grandparents can share both their child's and their grandchild's favorites!)
• Provide a collection of books for families to share during a group reading session. Invite families to get comfortable by bringing a cushion, beanbag chair, or pillow.
• Introduce families to some of the games & tools provided by ReadWriteThink. Encourage them to use these engaging tools at home to enhance their reading and writing experiences.
• Provide each family with a certificate of participation or a bookmark at the end of the event. Ask a local bookstore for a donation, or print certificates and bookmarks from your computer.
• At the close of your event, be sure to remind parents about other National Family Literacy Day events in your community.
Remember that family literacy is something that should be encouraged all year round. Invite students and their families to brainstorm ways they can keep their family engaged in reading on a regular basis!