Reading together with your family

What can you do for your family? Want to try something new?

  • Travel to new places. This can be in your own neighborhood or city.
  • Go on explorations or field trips.
  • Experience a new cultural event.
  • Learn something new every day.
  • Maintain a home library, including cataloging books and authors.
  • Start a gratitude journal or family diary. More about gratitude journals.
  • Enjoy family discussions about book or movies that everyone can read or watch. Maybe join with another family and share the discussions with them.
  • Suggestion: To help encourage your family to develop enjoyable learning habits try this. At a prearranged time every day, such as dinnertime, ask each member of your family (no matter what the age) what they learned that day. Their response might be what they learned from a book, at play, at work, from the radio, from the television, from a friend. The range of topics that will come up for discussion will astound you. Maybe your family will discuss current affairs, maybe inner feelings; some of this exchange will be serious, some light and jovial – all will be valuable.

Discuss and ask questions about their new-found knowledge or skill. Expand upon it. With the whole family participating in questions and comments, explore this new territory of learning. For example, if your child says that the population of a faraway country is 8,475,000 people, take out an atlas and locate the country, research an encyclopedia for more information about the land, its natural resources, its climate, its languages and cultural activities, the possibilities of traveling there, etc. Look at neighboring countries. Ask family members what they might know about the country. Include guests in this activity. And don’t forget to be prepared to also tell your family and friends about what you learned that day. Reading with your kids is always good!

This type of activity encourages children to share ideas, ask questions, explore new areas, recognize education as an ongoing lifelong process, and instills awareness of the world around them.

Reading for yourself

  • Take responsibility for your education and life by actively seeking new knowledge and experiences.
  • Take a course in something you never thought of taking before.
  • Develop a new hobby.
  • Subscribe to new publications.
  • Help other adults or children, share your experiences or skills. It will give you a good feeling.
  • Do something that challenges you physically and emotionally: white-water rafting, rock climbing, a long run, public speaking.
  • Keep a diary or gratitude journal or encourage other members of your family or extended family to keep journals. Journalizing has always been considered an important form of writing.

Suggestion: Join a reading group or start one yourself. Reading and enjoying literature does not need to happen in a vacuum. The basic idea is simple: a small group of readers is organized, they agree on a list of books, they all read the same book (usually one a month), then they meet to share their ideas and opinions. Read also this post on reading with your students.

Book clubs normally have around eight members. They introduce you to authors or subjects you might not have otherwise read. Book clubs are not about people necessarily agreeing so you can become involved in some lively discussion. Book clubs help make reading a social skill.

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