Family Literacy

What is family literacy?

Family literacy refers to the way parents, children, and extended family member use literacy at homeand in the community. Family literacy occurs naturally during the routines of daily living and helps children and adults get things done.

Literacy is especially important when it comes to children and families. When families learn together, they build good habits around literacy and learning, share ideas, build strong family connections, develop independent thinking and gain confidence.

How does family literacy affect children’s literacy and learning?

  • Families spontaneously engage in meaningful and purposeful literacy, regardless of socioeconomic, cultural and linguistic differences.

  • When parents are more involved and more engaged, children tend to do better academically and socially.

  • Research provides strong evidence for the contribution parent-child interaction makes to children’sliteracy and language development.

  • Regardless of socio-economic background, children whose parents read books to them in their early school years had better reading test scores at age 15. The parent-child activities that seemed to make the largest difference were reading a book, talking about things done during the day, and telling stories.

  • Parents’ basic literacy and numeracy skills have a strong, positive, and significant impact on cognitiveoutcomes for younger and older children. 

What are family literacy programs?

Family literacy programs help parents to support their children’s learning and literacy development. Some programs also directly help parents to improve their own literacy or parenting skills. Many programs include “circle times” where parents and children engage in stories, songs and rhymes that support language development. Others provide learning activities that can be replicated at home. Programs that help parent’s develop their own literacy skills also provide supports, such as childcare services. Family literacy programs are usually operated by community service organizations, libraries and literacy organizations.

Information retrieved from Decoda Literacy.