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your family's literary traditions

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure this is on point with this forum, but I figured that mamas who write would be particularly attuned to what I'm asking about. I'm curious how others incorporate literary traditions into their family lives. My husband and I read books to our children, but as they get older I'd like to start creating more opportunities for bringing the written/verbal word into their worlds. Like reading a relevant poem before a holiday meal, creating a special time around a story-oriented radio program, reading and discussing more challenging books together, or even encouraging toasts on special occasions (not really "literary," I know, but in my head their similar). I didn't grow up with anything like this in my own family, and any time I think about doing so it feels very awkward. I'd appreciate any advice or examples that work for you. Thanks!
post #2 of 3
From the 'toast' part,I'm thiinking maybe you're looking for ideas on ways to use language? Can't help you otherwise, so let's pretend.


Books on tape are great for the car! Get ones that you'd have to read to them, too hard for them to read to themselves.

Play silly word games. Our silliest is 'sausages'. We only played it in the car. One person is it and must answer EVERY question with the word 'sausages', and NO laughing or smiling. So, "What's Mum got on her head?"

What does Grandpa wear to dinner?

What does Daddy sleep on?

What did you wash with last night in the tub?

Are all answered, "sausages." Not funny here. Hysterical when someones trying to answer seriously.

Sausages fits in here because kids learn about words in unexpected ways while playing. THey start to create jokes to which everyone already knows the punchline. Just try it!

We always read together. Often chapter books. I think I'm the only person who HATES Harry Potter. I read ONE of those all the way through and told them if they wanted to read the rest they'd have to learn to read them themselves. And two of them did!


Sing. Get great tapes, (CD's), if your kids are young, get Joe Scruggs! (Discovery Toys used to have them)

Read short pieces that are 'above' them, every day. I wish now I'd done this but must confess I didn't. A short piece, a poem, Robert Louis Stevenson poem about the swing, or The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, maybe right after supper, while you all relax for a few minutes, together.

Have good books and magazines everywhere. LEt them clutter your house. Visit the library weekly. Go to story times and see porfessional storytellers. (Our Arts group hires them for campfires on the common, or the library sometimes does.)

Now that mine are all teens and older, we sometimes will share a book among 3 or 4 of us. I'm thinking of trying a family book-of-the-month book group. We could all borrow the book from the library (some of my kids live in other states, towns, go to school in different places, etc, so we'd be able to visit a bunch of libraries. ) Not every month though. The enormity of finding a book we'd all like is daunting!


Don't worry about stuff feeling awkward. My kids never knew I felt odd trying things with them. DH and I would giggle or suirm, they'd plunge right it!

Good luck.
post #3 of 3
My family had a tradition that we were always allowed one present to open on Christmas Eve. The rest had to wait until morning. This present was a special book. It was the only time during the holiday season my parents had more then 10 mintues of peace and quiet! I plan on continuing this with DS.
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