Life Holidays Father's
Quality Time: What Dads Can Teach Their Kids
All too often, childhood memories surrounding nursery rhymes
and picture books revolve around mothers. But fathers are their children's
first teachers as well. The children and the entire family benefit
from dad's involvement in their education.
Darling, president & founder of the National Center for Family Literacy, said
children look to both parents as role models. If they don't see parents reading
for pleasure and for purpose, then they are less likely to view reading as a pleasurable
In addition, if they want to spend time with their dad and he doesn't
feel comfortable as a teacher or reading them stories, then either they spend
less time with dad or they don't read as often.
which has trained more than 1 million educators and volunteers across the United
States, has recommendations on reading and other literacy activities that don't
have to be expensive or time-consuming. They can be built into your everyday routine.
time together and learning as a family can be a simple, inexpensive and easy activity.
It just requires a little time, imagination and creativity, said Darling.
The rewards are long-lasting for the family and have a long-term impact
on the child's academic success."
we conduct workshops for parents, they consistently say the sessions reminded
them of the importance of family time. Too often, parents are unable to spend
joint time with their children but appreciate how special it is to be together
as a family.
Father's Day approaches, NCFL offers the following tips for fathers and families
on how to teach their child by using the world around them and maximize time spent
Teach math and related family budgeting skills for kids by letting your child count the money to pay at the store;
Ask children to find the letters of their name use signs along the street and
Increase oral language skills by sharing stories of your
Make science come alive at home by checking out science
experiment books from the library and then trying easy science projects at home.
For example, grow a vegetable with your child, chart the growth and talk about
Tie reading into an outing. If you're going to a museum, bring
home a book about dinosaurs, so they see reading as an experience; and
Use certain techniques for reading that have been proven to increase effectiveness
in reading and cognitive skills, including making sound effects to capture their attention and
change your voice when different characters speak. You should also talk about
the story to reinforce comprehension, and read it again because
repetition helps children recognize and remember words.
of these recommendations are an outgrowth of a program created through a partnership
with McDonald's and NCFL called Family Mealtime Literacy Nights. Participating
families come to the restaurant one night a week for five weeks for a meal and
literacy program. Since October 2006, there have been 45 five-week programs in
Southern California. An estimated 675 families have benefitted from the program
program also demonstrates that parents can and should learn how to have important
conversations around the dinner table educational conversations that also
strengthen family bonds, Darling said.
one year of programming, results showed that nearly 90 percent of families are
attending the entire five week program and are asking to continue with their studies;
parents report using literacy strategies in their home and rely on the materials
developed for the program to help their families increase literacy skills; and
involvement of fathers in their children's literacy and education development
National Center for Family Literacy, the worldwide leader in family literacy,
has raised more than $115 million for literacy efforts since its founding in 1989.
More than 1 million families have made positive educational and economic gains
as a result of NCFL's work, which includes training more than 150,000 teachers
and thousands of volunteers. For more information, contact 1-877-FAMLIT-1 or visit