What is Family Literacy?

Family Literacy refers to a way of learning among family members. By Family Literacy, we usually mean how children learn early learning skills from parents. Yet Family Literacy can also mean how any person can learn from another person they know, for example how a young girl learns from an older brother or grandmother or babysitter.

Family Literacy highlights how important family members are to young children when it comes to preparing them for the world. There is a lot of research demonstrating how valuable it is for parents to become involved in their children’s learning right from the start.

Babies are born learners and it is incredible how much they are able to learn before they start going to school. When parents and caregivers take advantage of how quickly children learn, it really pays off!

Reading to very young children helps them to develop early literacy skills. Yes, early literacy skills. They are the skills needed to be in place before children begin sounding out letters in words.

When children are read to from an early age, they learn how to turn a page, how to read from left to right, from top to bottom and from start to finish. They also learn how to get information from pictures on the page. After listening to lots of stories, children gain more complex information about how stories are told. And the wonderful part about bringing books into our homes with young children is how young ones learn more language from different storytellers… new words, new sentence structures, new expressions, and new ideas.

There is one more critically important fact about how we can help children become stronger learners. Children need to see that reading is an activity that every family member does as apart of their day. This subtle message is a very powerful one… because there is an expectation that our young children will eventually read too, just like everyone else. Parental attitudes about reading have an extraordinary influence on how children see themselves as potential readers. If parents love reading their novels, their newspapers, and their magazines as a daily pleasure, their children learn that reading is a pleasure too.

To help you learn more about Family Literacy and early learning or to help you find some great sites to download learning material for young children, here are a few sites that might interest you: