National Family Literacy Month, celebrated each November 1 (and throughout the month), is an event to encourage and stress the importance of family literacy and supporting children in out-of-school time learning. For most children, a love of reading starts with you, their parent, at home. Regular reading is essential to a solid education and love of learning.
This month, we encourage parents to be more cognizant of their families reading habits (or lack thereof!). Here are ten ways to celebrate Family Literacy Month and really create some positive habits and make changes in your home.
- Get a library card for each member of your family! And make a date to go a few times a month.
- Create a reading corner or nook in your home. A comfortable, quiet space with a basket or shelf of books and magazines nearby. Make this a desirable place to hang out and your family will be fighting over it!
- Make a “no television” rule at least one night a week. Encourage reading, crafts and hobbies instead of watching TV.
- Talk to your kids frequently not just about what they’re reading, but what you’re reading too! What you like, what you dislike and what you hope to read next.
- Read aloud as a family. Take turns reading pages from the book.
- Swap books with friends, or start a “Little Free Library” in your neighborhood. Little Free Libraries are a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite books.
- Play a reading-related game, like “Story Charades”. Each person takes turn picking a story everyone in the family knows well. They then have to act out the story and have people guess. This is especially fun in teams.
- Have your kids read to a relative over the computer via a video-chat program, like Skype.
- Tell your kids they are allowed to stay up 15 minutes later, but only if they are reading a book.
- Practice storytelling. Have one member of the family tell a story of a major family event. Take turns re-telling the story from each person’s point of view. This helps children build vocabulary, recall information and understand the basic components of a story. You can also encourage your family to make up a story, with each person adding to the story and “handing it off” for the next person to continue.
Enjoy your family time!