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.
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.
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 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.