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Family literacy is more than reading and writing

(NC) When we think about literacy, we often think about reading and writing. However, literacy is also about our ability to navigate the world around us through technology, numeracy, problem solving, document use, and other essential skills.

By incorporating different types of literacy and essential skills into daily family activities, parents can encourage and create opportunities for their children to develop the abilities they need for success in school and for a lifetime of learning.

Family Literacy Day is on January 27 so ABC Life Literacy Canada offers the following ways for families to embrace literacy and learning together:

Have a family board game night. Get the kids to read the instructions, keep score, count the spaces and spell the words.

Follow a recipe together. Cooking is a great way to develop reading and numeracy (measurement) skills. Look up a recipe online to practice your digital literacy skills.

Make groceries a family activity. Children can write a shopping list, identify items in the fridge that are getting low, check price differences between different brands, sort items for packing or putting away, count how many potatoes to buy and look at the cash register receipts.

During car trips, read signs and billboards and look for interesting licence plates. Listen to audio books in the car, especially during longer trips – most libraries have a great selection.

When planning a family vacation, get the kids to do some online research and make recommendations about what to see and do. Look at a map together to plan your route to your final destination.

Home is the key to homework. After kids have finished their homework, proofread for spelling and punctuation, verify math answers, and suggest any changes that will improve their writing.

Family Literacy Day began on January 27, 1999 – and since then, thousands of activities and events are held annually in homes, schools, learning centres, and in literacy organizations across the country. More information can be found online at

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