Educators are aware of the importance of extending the learning environment beyond the classroom. When parents, guardians, and families are involved in the learning process, students have additional support and can make greater academic gains. Learning Liftoff (2015) states "recent research on the best practices in education suggests that parental involvement, not income or social status, is the most accurate predictor of scholastic achievement" (para. 1). However, many adults are unaware of how to engage children in learning activities. Games and activities that allow the whole family to participate provide a structure to support learning. Readers Theaters can be performed and recorded, then shared with the teacher. In addition to the academic benefits, family learning activities naturally provide opportunities for meaningful discussions and cooperative learning. Opportunities to strengthen the family bond can benefit from the out-of-school activities. As the world experienced a global pandemic, families were faced with many new and unusual challenges. Literacy activities and games can be tied to social-emotional themes and books for the whole family. Participants will gain additional information about the importance of out-of-school literacy, sample activities to share with families, and methods to increase pieces of literature in the home. Multiple books with accompanying activities will be provided during the presentation. Games that can be played at home will be outlined as well. Presenters will also share personal experiences on how to increase out-of-school learning opportunities.
Jill Tussey, Buena Vista University, United States
Leslie Haas, Xavier University of Louisiana, United States