Family Literacy

In this section we wish to share some ideas that help all of us appreciate and value how important reading is for children. Here you may also discover new ideas that interest you, personally.

Reading and Learning Magic

Children who love to read hold a special kind of magic – a gift that will enrich their lives forever. Like ensuring that your child eats healthy and has proper rest, you can also nourish your child’s imagination – that endless curiosity that causes your child’s mind to grow in a healthy way – by teaching your child to learn and love to read.

Your child has probably asked you many questions and will continue to ask you hundreds more. Your responses are one way that you teach your child about the world. However, you also know that your child has to learn from other sources as well. One of these sources is books, which contain an endless amount of knowledge and pleasure.

Help your child discover the wonderful world of books and become an enthusiastic lifelong reader. Read on.

Parents Are The Teachers

As parents, we want the best for our children. Besides providing for their basic necessities we want children to be healthy, confident, sensible, and happy. The basis for a child’s emotional and intellectual growth is a healthy and supportive learning environment.

Some families require guidance to help them achieve these goals. That is the purpose of family literacy programs offered by several community associations. (Check Links) Through family literacy programs parents can take advantage of opportunities for their own self-improvement and learning. The result is increased literacy skills, life skills, job skills, parenting skills, and self-esteem for parents as well as educational gains for children.

We offer a variety of suggestions and activities for families. In them we hope you will find encouragement to promote lifelong learning as a priority in your family. If you are a parent, grandparent, older sibling, caregiver or volunteer tutor these ideas will help you.

Family literacy does not need to cost money, there is no necessity to purchase expensive books or programs to establish a learning environment. Your home is likely filled with a myriad of resources. Visit your local library or contact local community groups for more ideas or to borrow resources. Visit thrift stores or garage sales for used books and games.

Above all use your imagination:

  • Read to children.
  • Give them books as gifts.
  • Show children that reading is fun, that you enjoy reading. This helps them to learn to know more about books, to come to love to read and to learn about language.
  • Family literacy is a commitment but it is not a full time job. Integrate a few minutes each day, combine teaching and learning with your other household activities or duties.
    Studies show that parents are the most important teachers of their children. Children learn by imitation. They imitate what they hear and see. It is this fact that allows children to say their first words and that is how children learn the importance of reading from those closest to them.

Encourage children to learn:

  • Discover what your child likes.
  • Read a variety of books to your child.
  • Use libraries.
  • Find books that are “reader-friendly”.
  • Develop a home library.
  • Help teach children to learn to read.
  • Share your skills, experiences and imagination with young people.
  • Encourage high quality education, encourage young people to value their learning experiences and stay in school.