Building Stronger Family Connections Through Literacy
Growing Readers: Learning to Love Reading and Writing Column 8
This editorial article was written by Lizzie Mussoline, M. Ed.
How to Promote Literacy in Your Home as Well as Find Time to Bond With Your Kiddos and as a Family
There’s enough pressure out there to do a million things better or differently in the new year, so we thought we’d provide a few laid back ideas that we think are fun and will help to promote literacy in your home as well as giving you time to bond with your kiddos and as a family!
Drop Everything and Read
Many schools have “DEAR” time where everyone “drops everything and reads.” Commit to carving out time each week to simply READ in a shared space. Encourage everyone to read their very own special book. Of course, reading aloud to your children is fun, but spending quiet time together while everyone reads a special book promotes independent reading, which is an important lifelong skill and modeling reading behavior in front of your children will certainly leave a lasting impression. Younger readers that aren’t quite reading independently yet can peruse picture books, listen to an audiobook or view an e-book. If everyone is old enough to read the same book, you can start your own family book club!
Care to make this a bit more structured? Encourage everyone to read a certain genre on certain days or choose a news article to read and discuss. Newsela is an awesome resource that differentiates articles based on reading level so the whole family can read about the same topic. Get everyone excited for this time by picking a handful of books at the library and have them waiting for your kiddos once they get home from school. Whatever you do, try to enjoy the quiet time together doing something that will hopefully fill your heart and soul.
Question or Quote of the Day
Find a spot in your house where you can write a specific question or quote of the day. There are so many ways to use this in your home, so do what works best for your family. There are a multitude of literacy skills beyond reading, writing and speaking that can be tapped into through this activity such as enhancing vocabulary and encouraging one to think analytically. Here are a few ideas on how to use a question or quote to promote literacy:
- Choose questions or quotes by people your family respects and admires
- Discuss quotes over a family meal
- Journal about them and share aloud
- Encourage kids to post their own question or quote and explain why they chose them
- Choose questions or quotes that specifically help with particular issues your family, community or larger world is experiencing
Write, Write, Write!
If you’ve read this column, you know how wonderful it is to journal! “Free writing” gives kids a chance to decide what they want to write about, practice expressing their feelings in a healthy way, and also let their imaginations soar—among many other benefits! If anyone is ever stuck and can’t seem to get started with journaling, try reading something new, writing about it, adding an art component and “extending” by discussing the work. In January, make it a point to encourage your family to take time to stop, reflect, and journal on some of the ideas listed here:
- Visit a new museum
- Read a new book
- Tell what you liked or didn’t like about a particular genre
- Write about the best part of a new year
- What are your new year’s goals and resolutions? Action steps? Why are these goals important to you?
- What are you grateful for and why? (In our opinion, this one never gets old!)
- How did you help your family or friends today? Your community?
Thank you for reading the Growing Readers: Learning to Love Reading and Writing column. Bookmark this Growing Readers Column link or subscribe to our e-newsletter so you do not miss out on the monthly reading tips. Building Stronger Family Connections Through Literacy was written by Lizzie Mussoline, M. Ed.—follow her on Instagram: @wildflower_learning_denver.
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