This past Tuesday I was fortunate to facilitate a parent literacy night at my local book store. I would like to thank Well Read (http://www.thewellreadbookstore.com/) for their graciousness in hosting our group. Our local bookstore consistently provides our community with dynamic events for the whole family so I felt lucky to be part of their lineup! I would also like to thank the parents and educators that came out on a busy night to share ideas to benefit our children's love of reading and life long learning.
We had a great discussion about the kinds of things families could do at a variety of age levels to inspire a love of reading. At a deeper level we discussed the difference of learning for the classroom and learning for the pure joy of discovery. Our discussion brought up what is sure to be many future posts. In fact there were so many books that were shared that I am updating my list of favorites to highlight as great family reads- stay tuned!!
On this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I want to touch upon just one of the points that was brought up. Reading aloud and what literacy means in general can come in many shapes and sizes. At the core, we all agreed that our children benefit most when reading and learning is authentic and appropriate. This means not forcing fake "assignments" on our kids but at the same time using their natural curiosity to drive "teachable moments." This weekend we all agreed that we would be on the lookout for those joyous moments where literacy might mean silly songs as we take a Sunday afternoon drive, talking about our day over hot chocolate, or cuddling up to a good book at bedtime.
RAISE THE FLF: At FLF the goal is to take a moment and stretch it to really learn as a family- learning about each other and learning about the world THROUGH each other. When running errands or trying one of the many fall activities in the area don't forget to debrief as a family at some point. TALK to one another about your opinions. Agree- or better yet disagree on your experiences. Through this talking your child will get a chance to see how we all can look at the same experiences differently. They will be enriched by the language of expression and best of all you will learn something about each other. Now don't get me wrong I'm a teacher and I know Sunday night often feels like "last chance Sally" to get our stuff together before a busy week. I am in the midst of that myself. However, when possible it is so important to model for our children the rich conversational skills that take our random moments and turn them into deeper family moments of learning. Yes even picking out your produce at the supermarket can lead to a relevant conversation with our kids- how DID we decide which fruit and veggies to get for the week? Or what exactly can we DO with the hundreds of apples we picked since baking would be cruel and unjust punishment for this yummy fruit at mommy's hands?! There should seriously be an apple exchange program where we pick apples and then turn them into local bakers for seriously delicious pies! Sure these ideas seem obvious but it is so easy to forget to TALK about our day with one another. Happy weekend. :D