Family Literacy Day

Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development. Even just 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.

Bards BanquetTuesday, January 27, 2015,  is Family Literacy Day, an annual national event created by  ABC Life Literacy Canada to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Why not plan a book-filled day? Here’s a list of 15-minute ideas.

Many of these ideas may seem more appropriate for younger kids, but they can easily be modified. Older children may not need you to read to them but whether they admit it or not, they still want you to and you will all benefit if you keep the tradition going. You could switch it up by reading their favourite comic books or interesting or funny articles you’ve come across. Or spend your reading time talking about a book they are reading themselves (at one point I tried to read whatever my eldest was reading but I could not keep up!) or ask them to read out the ingredients for a recipe you think they would enjoy (a great way to generate interest in helping out in the kitchen).

My youngest son is a huge fan of the Kevin Sylvester series about an obnoxious teenage chef with a nose for solving mysteries. So that’s what we’re doing on Literacy Day: cracking open the latest installment: Neil Flambé and the Bard’s Banquet.

The books are fast-paced, travel around the world and are full of lots of fun wordplay (and real groaners too). And, of course, food.  This latest one takes the too-big-for-his-britches chef to London, where he is quickly embroiled (see what I did there?) in a mystery involving Shakespeare, a missing lord, a meal fit for a Queen, and an ancient pot of honey.

In honour of the ingredient at the centre of this tale, we’ll be snacking on Regan Daley’s Honey Spice Madeleines, from In the Sweet Kitchen.

Happy reading, everyone!



Author: Kevin Sylvester

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Age range: 8-12

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