Family Literacy/The Book Nook

Family Literacy

A Light in the Dark 

Throughout history, the family has been the primary source for learning. Before the advent of schools, children were taught at home by their parents, older siblings, grandparents, and/or other relatives. With the introduction of formal schooling, the teaching of values, cultural practices, and skills such as cooking, sewing, farming, and trapping continued to originate in the home. Today, in spite of the vast public and private educational systems, some parents are choosing to teach their children at home, confident in their belief that teaching in the context of family is the best way to ensure the learning they desire.

Public agencies, such as the National Center for Family Literacy, and private foundations, such as the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, have shown their support of the family as a primary place of learning by funding programs that provide training and assistance to families for the promotion of literacy. This Digest discusses the family as a preferred place of literacy development and highlights family literacy initiatives that reflect respect for the family as a site of learning.  We have added this here to help you understand the importance that literacy plays.

Link to full digest


Ten Best Beach Books for Young Children

Information from The Homeschool Classroom by: Dianna

With Summer vacation here, and the possiblility for a little sand and sun, here is a list of great books that are beach ready.  Whether you live in the middle of the nation or on the shore, all kids love the connection between sand and water.  Great science connections, summer, activities and many genres of literature. 

Want to create your own unit study on beaches and ocean life? I’ll give you our list of favorites.

1.Beach Day

Brightly colored illustrations along with bouncy verses about a summer day at the beach will start your vacation off on the right flip flop! Add to your fun with some coloring pagesor dot to dots. Ages 3-6.

2.What Lives in a Shell?

Perfect for preschoolers up to second grade, this book explores snails, turtles, clams and crabs. Beautiful watercolor illustrations make the story come alive.

With some help, your children could try a 3-D turtle craft on for size.

3.Commotion in the Ocean

One of our favorite books, the colorful illustrations and short, peppy rhymes here will hold your children’s attention as they learn about sea animals. Recomended for preschoolers through second graders.

Try your hand at a textured starfish - just paint using this template on construction paper or cardstock, then add sand while the paint is still wet.

4.Over in the Ocean

Part verse, part fingerplay, part I Spy – this adorable book would be a welcome addition to your beach collection! The verses in the book can be sung to the tune of “Over the Meadow” for more fun! Ages 4-8.

Create your own tissue paper seahorse craft for this book – start with the seahorse template, printed on cardstock or construction paper. Give your little ones a small cup of Elmer’s glue, along with cut up squares of tissue paper and a paintbrush. They can apply the glue with the brush, then add the tissue paper for their own masterpiece.

5.Mister Seahorse

My children love this story of the Daddy seahorse, taking care of his babies. I was amazed at all of the other sea creatures we learned about that also take the primary responsibility of caring for their young.

Do your children love Do-A-Dot Markers? We were able to find an do a dot activity page to match the seahorse book. These pages can also be used with round magnets. (be careful with younger children – choking hazard!) Want to work on handwriting and counting? Check out the baby seahorse math sheet.

6.How to Hide an Octopus

Want to show your children how animals camouflage themselves? The beautiful illustrations here introduce use to a sea dragon, octopus, crabs, pipefish and more.

Work on fine motor skills with this octopus craft. Print the octopus on cardstock, then let children glue cheerios on to create the octopus suckers. Great way to work on counting, too!

7.Hello Ocean

Have you talked about the five senses? This book follows a young girl to the ocean, where she uses her senses to enjoy her visit. Keep your kids busy with ocean mazes, or fish number cards.

8.The Seashore Book

Are you heading to the beach for the first time with your family? This book, where a mother describes the ocean to her young son, would be perfect for you. Ages 3-8

Work on writing with a simple fish practice letter sheet, or work on a clown fish color by letter.

9.A House for Hermit Crab

Eric Carle graces this list twice -he’s been a treasured favorite in our house for over 10 years!

This delightful book not only teaches us about different sea creatures such as anenomes, coral, sea snails and more; but reminds readers of the exciting possibilities that abound with a move.

Keep your readers entertained with more hermit crab activities, such as a do a dot page, as well as letter matching cards.

10. Curious George Goes to the Beach

My boys adore Curious George stories! Follow George and the man with the yellow hat as they travel to the beach for the day.

Finish up your beach unit study with a more permanent sand castle craft – great for preschoolers!