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Ideas to Promote Family Literacy

from Brenda Boreham’s article in Canadian Teacher Magazine

The following is a list of specific suggestions that might prove useful to parents in promoting family literacy.

  • Provide a quiet place in your home with reading and writing supplies (paper, felt pens, crayons, scissors, glue, etc.).
  • Buy used books at second hand stores and garage sales.
  • Reading material comes in many different forms: books, magazines, letters, Internet sites, newspapers, etc. Try them all!
  • Visit the public library every week.
  • Be a reading model. Children learn by example. Let them see you reading in your spare time.
  • Read aloud to your children—20 minutes a day adds up over the course of the summer.
  • Read in the car. Road signs, billboards and licence plates are all sources of reading material while you are in transit. Why not teach your children to read a road map?
  • Daily household routines allow for many reading opportunities—recipes, phone books, the TV guide are all excellent sources of informational text.
  • Try a family board game night. Encourage your children to read the instructions and follow the directions.
  • When you are watching TV reduce the volume and turn on the closed captioning feature. Encourage your children to read the words on the screen.
  • Listen to your child read to you. Ask questions (e.g., What do you think will happen next? What is the problem in the story?).
  • Sing with your children. Singing helps them to develop an early awareness of rhyme, rhythm and words.
  • Ask for your children’s help with household chores: printing grocery lists, marking events on the calendar, writing postcards and letters to family members and friends, etc.
  • Challenge your children with word games such as word searches, crossword puzzles, Scrabble, Upwords, etc.
  • On family trips to museums, science centres, parks and galleries make sure that you read the information on the displays.
  • Have fun!

Have a wonderful summer with your families!

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