Whoa! What a mouthful?
National Family Literacy Month!
Will your celebration be modest or over-the-top?
Let's start slow here... Who wants to be overwhelmed right now - when you are still scrubbing the candy corn out of your youngest child's teeth?
I propose a Family Literacy Minute - one for every member of the family - every day if you can(!) - once or twice a week if that is what know you can do!
OK, the minimum is ONE minute, but anyone can take up to TWO minutes. Any longer and it may be too long for those accustomed to the surfing and clicking that we all do too often.
These minutes will be, blessedly, technology free!
Day 1 - Tell me one thing you learned today - at school, work, OR something very useful that you learned at anytime in the past from someone at least 20 years older than you are!!! (The second option is great for kids who had to take a (sigh) sick day, and/or for stay-at-home parents!)
Day 2 - What is a "life lesson" that you learned from a book, a movie, or a TV show?
This may take a little prompting, and ay take longer than a minute.
Day 3 - What are some expressions we have heard - ones where the meaning isn't too clear to us?
If no response, pose some idioms, "Hit it out of the ballpark," or "Too cool for school."
Or, how about "Adding your two cents," or "window shopping," or "one in a million."
Day 4 - Take a break from words and measure something. Take guesses and then break out the ruler, yardstick, or, measuring tape and measure the table where you are having dinner. Feet and inches can be explained by the demonstration. Try using very little "lecturing" and let your kiddos learn at their own pace.
Day 5 - The shocker! Talk about inappropriate words and why we don't use them. Explain the difference between an insult, (Idiot) a curse word, (#!*!%!) and a racial slur.
Day 6 - Follow up to Day 5. Ask everyone to give an example of something that is considered, "Good Manners."
Day 7 - Back to words again. Everyone gets five nickels or five quarters. Stack 'em! Rule for dinnertime conversation: Everyone must speak in complete sentences!
Very Challenging! Get your teen to keep track, and anyone who violates the rule must give up a coin!
Scorekeeper forfeits a coin ONLY if s/he doesn't recognize an incomplete sentence. At the end of dinner, each one keeps the coins still in front of him or her!
Day 8 - Everyone brings a short poem or Haiku to the table. Must be able to be read or recited in under one minute. Discuss!
There you have it: Eight manageable ideas.... If you are really ambitious, read a page or two of a book together every night... How about The Magic School Bus for the 8 or 9 year olds, or Frindle for a 10 or 11 year old, or Huck Finn for an older student? Also, Among the Hidden, Out of the Dust, (free verse,) or a Shel Silverstein poem?? What about a book that explores religious beliefs - yours or ...??
Have fun and please READ!