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Family Resources

Fun activities, online resources & great books for all ages.

At The Literacy Site, we hope to foster a love of reading in our children through education and awareness as well as the simple act of providing books for children in need.

You and our charitable partners are doing a big part of the work. When you click the "Fund Books for Kids" button and see our sponsors' ads, funds are generated to distribute books for children around the world. But what of the future?

With a good understanding of the practical use and the sheer joy books can provide, our children can do even more to learn crucial skills and to help others around the world. Here, you can find a few tips & ideas, links to internet resources, and even some recommended reading. Help your children get involved!

Tips & Ideas

Our children learn the most from watching and interacting with us. As parents and family, we strive to set good examples, but we're often crunched for time. Learning to be literate is a gradual process, and we can facilitate it with a few simple daily or weekly routines.

Read to your children!

You have heard this one before, but it is one of the most valuable learning experiences for a child. Pick a fun book, curl up in a comfy corner, and spend some quality time reading to your child.

Read with your children!

Sometimes it is difficult to remember that we are the best role models for our children. Take some time out during the day, maybe just 15 minutes, to pick up a book of your own and read it. There may be distractions — phone calls and other demands on your attention — but pick that book up again and finish your chapter when the interruption is over. Your example will adhere more deeply than you would expect or imagine.

Write with your children.

Get involved with their homework, and when they don't have any, have some fun. You can co-write silly poetry like Shel Silverstein, short adventure stories that your child is the main character in, and more. Make writing more than an important task to be completed for school by showing children that, with a little imagination, it can be a lot of fun.

Explore the internet together.

The internet is a massive, modern jumble of information that can be difficult to dig through, but it is also an excellent resource to find some answers to children's questions. Take some time of your own to bookmark some safe, interactive, exciting, and intelligent sites. Then you and your child can work on reading and understanding those sites together. Check out the links below for some ideas about where to start!

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More Family Resources

  • Reading Rockets

    Pertinent and engaging information about literacy for parents, as well as book lists, strategies for struggling students, and more.
  • Smithsonian Education

    A rich collection of information for teachers and students. Be inspired by a wealth of innovative and deeply informative resources from multiple subject areas and grade levels, perfect to explore at home or in the classroom.
  • First Book Literacy Resources

    First Book provides book lists, resources for parents, and more.
  • Kid Territory at the San Diego Zoo

    At this site, you can find fun science experiments you can perform at home, recipes, and games. You can also submit artwork and writing samples, and find information on animal husbandry, conservation, and other zoo-related topics.
  • The CIA World Factbook

    A public resource that includes facts and statistics about countries all over the world.

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Some Recommended Books — for All Ages

Zen Shorts

(children's picture book) Jon J. Muth. Scholastic Press, 2005

Addy, Michael, and Carl are three ordinary children with an extraordinary new neighbor. When a giant panda named Stillwater moves in next door, he brings with him a fresh and intriguing way to look at everyday life - sharing classic zen stories with his new friends.

Where the Wild Things Are

(children's picture book) Maurice Sendak. Harper & Row, 1963

When a child explores the world of his imagination, a jungle comes to life, and it's filled with monsters.

The Lorax

(children's picture book) Dr. Seuss. Random House Books, 1971.

Classic children's parable. A boy learns the story about the mighty trees and wonderful animals that once lived around his home and the Lorax, a creature who spoke for them. Now the trees and creatures are gone, but the boy is given a gift for the future.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

(children's poetry) Shel Silverstein. Harper Collins, 1974.

Short, fun, irresistible poetry that's all about kids and imagination — from giants to boa constrictors to brothers for sale. Children will get a kick out of these imaginative rhymes.

The Witches

(early-middle) Roald Dahl. Jonathan Cape Publishing, 1983

Real witches exist, and their nefarious leader is unleashing a plot to rid the world of detestable children forever. Can a single boy and his witch-expert grandmother stop them?

A Wrinkle in Time

(middle) Madeline L'Engle. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1962.

Evil is a presence in the universe, and with the help of three unusual ladies, Charles Wallace, Meg, and Calvin plunge headlong into the battle against it. Science mixes freely with emotion in this fantastic tale of one small family that can change the world.

Homecoming

(middle-secondary) Cynthia Voigt. Harper Collins, 1981.

When Dicey Tillerman and her younger siblings are abandoned by their mother, they must find a way to survive and stay together. They walk a long and perilous road in search of a place to call home and a family to call their own.

The Outsiders

(secondary) S.E. Hinton. Viking Press, 1967

The classic story of a boy who lives with his older brother in a city steeped in gang rivalries and prejudices. He fights impossible odds to overcome the darkness around him and become stronger and wiser for the struggle.

Inkheart

(secondary) Cornelia Funke. Scholastic Chicken House, 2003

When Meggie and her father discover that the things that make a good story can also make reality terrifying. Together, they struggle to rid the world of what should have been a fictional evil.

The Chocolate War

(secondary) Robert Cormier. Laurel-Leaf Books, 1986

T.S. Eliot asked, "Do I dare disturb the universe?" At Trinity, a catholic high school, a reign of terror structured by students in control and teachers who turn aside is upset by a single student who dares to act on his personal beliefs.

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