November 1 is National Family Literacy Day. All over the United States, communities celebrate the wonders of families reading and learning together by hosting special events and activities focused on family literacy.

Since 1994, National Family Literacy Day has been officially celebrated on November 1. However, many communities plan events throughout the entire month of November.

What’s happening in your community? In many areas, schools, libraries, literacy organizations, teachers, parents and kids participate in read-a-thons, book drives and more.

Family literacy celebrates the unique opportunity that exists for families to read and learn together — and in doing so make their lives better and more fulfilling.

How will your family celebrate National Family Literacy Day? In addition to participating in local activities, we encourage you to spend some quality time together as a family.

Pile on to the couch, and read a favorite book together. Go on a nature hike together, and see what you might learn on the trail.

Family literacy is all about families learning together. Of course, that often means that it’s the parents who are teaching the children.

Most parents can tell you, though, that they’ve learned some important lessons from their children, too. It’s this interplay between parents and children that makes family literacy so powerful.

So what can adults learn from kids? You might be surprised!

It could be a simple lesson that an adult has learned in the past but forgotten. It might be the details in a story or picture that kids notice but their parents overlook. It might be a child’s thrill or amazement at something adults have become accustomed to or simply take for granted.

Or it could be something new that kids simply know more about. From how to work the remote to all sorts of other facets of modern technology, sometimes kids just know more than adults do about certain things!

Here are a few examples of some things that parents can learn from children if they listen and make the most of their time together:

  • Technology: Whether it’s programming the DVR, texting or how to adapt to the latest Facebook layout change, most parents will find their children are at least one step ahead of them. Take an interest in technology, let your children show you a few things and find common ground that can lead to great discussions.
  • Trends: Many parents are shocked when they hear about new trends on the nightly news. From cyberbullying to teens abusing drugs, it’s important for parents to know what’s going on in the world their children live in. Develop an open and trusting relationship with your children, so you can hear about these things from them — not the news.
  • Patience: Kids will make mistakes. How parents deal with those mistakes will teach both the children and the parents many things. For parents, one of the important skills that can be learned is how to be patient. Work at it and it’ll be worth it!
  • Forgiveness: When kids make mistakes — and they will — it’s important that parents learn how to forgive and move on in a positive way. This is not an easy lesson, but your children will learn from your example and maybe become more patient with you!
  • Wonder: Every day, try to see the world around you through a child’s eyes. Let your children’s natural curiosity inspire you to see the world differently. Children can help us pause to appreciate the wonders of our world. Go where they want to go. Try the things they want to try. The destination is not important, but the journey is incredible.

 

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    • Thanks for sharing your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder, Cheese! You’ll have to check back tomorrow to see if you’re correct! We’re SO GLAD you like to learn new things every day and hang out in Wonderopolis! :-)

    • We’re super happy that you liked the video for today’s Wonder of the Day®, Cheese! Thanks for letting us know! :-)

    • We’re so glad you love exploring Wonderopolis and learning new things every day, xxrecon9xx! Thank you for being an AWESOME Wonder Friend! :-)

    • We can all learn from each other every day, Mrs. Russ’s Classroom! Thank you so much for visiting today’s Wonder and for leaving us this GREAT comment! :-)

  1. We talked about things we have learned from our parents like learning to walk, to ride a bike, and even some manners. We also shared that we taught our parents about how “trick-or-treating” got it name! :)

    • We bet your parents were excited to learn from YOU guys yesterday, Kerrick Elementary School! We hope you all had fun trick-or-treating! :-)

  2. The life lessons that you shared were all true and funny. The life lessons are real life families. No one ever really thinks that parents learn from their children. Our class from the Wing School loved this wonder of the day. Thank you! :)

    • What an AWESOME comment you left for us today, Mrs. Mac’s Class! We are glad that you visited this Wonder and let us know how much you enjoyed it! :-)

  3. I think even though parents are wise, kids can take action too. Sure, we’re not in charge, but you learn something new everyday. I used Wonderopolis a lot in 5th grade (my teacher was Maria Caplin), and it still helps me a lot.
    THANK YOU! :D

    • It’s so great to hear from you, Brooke! We’re super happy to learn that you continue to explore Wonderopolis now that you are in 6th grade! Thank you for leaving us a comment today! :-)

    • We’re glad you think so, Michael! We like hearing from our Wonder Friends, so THANK YOU for letting us know what you thought about today’s Wonder! :-)

  4. It was great to read this with my mom! We loved reading it together and I’ve started my own blog now too! Thanks for this great site!

    • That’s so exciting that you have started your own blog, Noah! We bet it is WONDERful! Thank you for sharing this Wonder of the Day® with your mom. We really enjoy it when our Wonder Friends share Wonderopolis with their families! Family Time + Learning Together = FUN! :-)

  5. We were excited to read Brooke’s comment. Her sister is siting here with us right now and had no idea she left a comment. The video was superb because we were able to laugh at some of the funny ones, like the balloons in heaven and don’t flush the toilet while someone is in the shower. We used context clues to figure out the meaning of facet and destination. Thanks for a great wonder!!

    • Thanks for leaving us such a WONDERful comment, Mrs. Caplin’s Class! It’s great to hear from “MC” students—past AND present! We’re glad you visited this Wonder of the Day® today and learned some new things! :-)

  6. I really like Wonderopolis. It’s my first time on it, so my teacher showed me ABOUT THIS WEBSITE! I love the other wonder videos.

    • Welcome to Wonderopolis, Natalia! We’re so glad that your teacher showed you how to find us! We hope you’ll visit again soon and explore lots of Wonders! We have a new Wonder of the Day® to learn from every day! :-)

  7. Thank you! My favorite video is the fastest roller coaster. It’s very funny. Well, love about the Brodway Lion King, too. That’s the most funny.

  8. I just really, really, really please want tomorrow’s wonder to be about horses. I really love horses. Please make it about horses!

  9. Dear Wonderopolis,
    Even though parents might be smarter or wiser, we can teach them new things by telling them our point of view of the world or how we see it. They see it through our eyes, which might help them think of something they never thought of before or learn something new.
    XOXOXOXOXO,
    Paige ;)

    • That’s a super way to think about it, Paige! We certainly think YOU are wise beyond your years! Thanks for visiting this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  10. It is the first time I am visiting wonderopolis. It is very cool and interesting. I am glad to expand my knowledge from wonderopolis. Awesome! I like it a lot!

    • HOORAY for families, Hodan! Thanks for sharing your awesome comment! We hope you give your family members hugs tonight! :)

  11. We care for William. We hope these members of his family are doing ok.

    Rebecca
    Harrison
    Teresa
    Jacob

    • We’re glad you enjoyed this Wonder of the Day, Bryana and Rachel! Thanks for hanging out with us here in Wonderopolis! :)

    • Thanks for hanging out with us in Wonderopolis, Alena and Myia! We’re glad you enjoyed this Wonder of the Day! We hope to hear from you again soon, Wonder Friends! :)

  12. Kids know more about the new technology world, but most of the time, parents know more about other things And the past. Because that’s when they were born.

  13. I totally agree with this article. A parent reading this could learn a thing or two if they haven’t already.
    I didn’t like the video. It was too boring and blah!

    Bye!!! :)

    • Thank you for sharing your comments with us, Isabel, Jack and Emily! We’re really glad you stopped by Wonderopolis to WONDER with us for a bit! We hope you each have an awesome day, Wonder Friends! :D

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What can children teach their parents?
  • How will your family celebrate National Family Literacy Day?
  • Have you learned any important lessons lately?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

So what important lessons have you recently learned? Take some time to cook a meal together as a family, and then sit down to talk about how life has been going.

Ask each person to share something that he or she has learned recently. Sharing your thoughts and what life has been teaching you lately can bring your family closer together.

It’s important to know what the others in your family are dealing with. You never know when the lessons they’ve learned recently are ones that you can learn from, too.

Some of those lessons learned can be really funny. Share some of these examples of “life lessons” with your family:

  • Never trust a dog to guard your dinner plate.
  • If your brother or sister hits you, don’t hit back. They always catch the second person.
  • Don’t flush the toilet when your parents are in the shower.
  • Don’t expect a 3-year-old to keep a secret.
  • When your mom is mad, don’t let her brush your hair.

Do you have any similar “life lessons” you’ve learned? Think back and remember some of your favorite family memories.

Do you remember any fun times that taught you some important lessons about life? What about times you’ve learned something new from stories you’ve read together?

Talk together about your family’s lessons learned, and then write down the five most important things you think others might benefit from.

Would you share your family’s life lessons with us? Email or Tweet them to us. We’d love to share a laugh and hear the funny stories behind whatever lessons you’ve learned lately.

 

Still Wondering

Explore Thinkfinity’s Parents & Kids collection of resources for tons of fun ideas you can use to learn together as a family!

 

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