Learning at home with your family can be just as if not more important to the growth of a child as formal schooling.
That is one of the messages coming from today’s Canada’s Family Literacy Day. Elizabeth Robinson is the Director of Programs for the ABC Life Literacy Centre in Lethbridge. She says today is all about drawing attention to the importance of learning together.
“Learning works the best when we participate with the people we love and care about. That could be going on a walk together outside and talk about the wildlife and the plants you are encountering or using a trip to the grocery store to talk about budgeting,
pricing and spending plans.”
Robinson adds that some family members may feel better about technology than others, so that could be an opportunity to do some intergenerational learning on digital skills. She also feels parents should remember that the classroom is only a portion of a child’s education.
“Children spend five times as much time outside the classroom as they do in school. If you really want the best environment for your kids, you have to understand they are learning all kinds of information, new skills, and ideas outside the classroom.”
The theme for this year’s Family Literacy Day is ‘Learning in the Great Outdoors’ and Robinson says to reduce screen time getting outside is a great option.
“There are lots of great learning opportunities and it can really be a nice break. It relaxes the mind, and the exercise is good for the body.” She adds parents should take the time to find areas of interest for their kids, “What are they excited about, what are they passionate about? Turning that into a learning experience can be a way to bring back the spark that has been gone during the pandemic.”
Robinson says there are plenty of online resources for families to look at. “We have lots of activities and exercises on our website so check out www.abcactivatelearning.ca. We have plenty of resources there for families who are looking to learn together at home. Our main website at www.abclifeliteracy.ca is also a great resource regardless of your age.”