November is Family Literacy Month. According to the National Centers for Families Learning, family literacy occurs whenever individuals within two or more generations engage in learning activities together. We've gathered some tips for getting involved in family literacy from your own assisted living apartment right here in Frisco. And if you aren't able to engage family members in learning, consider reaching out to other Bethesda Garden community members who might be interested in discovering a new topic or mastering a new skill alongside you.
Special "Book Clubs" With Relatives
If you have younger relatives who are interested in some of the same topics you are, consider creating a special book club. This works great even if you’re sharing learning with a single grandchild or child. Work together to pick a book about the topic — fiction or nonfiction — that you can read at the same time and discuss on the phone, via email or text or when you can meet for a quick treat or a meal.
Reading to Younger Children
A great way to engage your youngest relatives in learning is simply to read to them. But that's not always easy to do from your assisted living community, especially if grandchildren or other younger relatives live far away. Get their parents involved to create a fun tradition. You each have a copy of the same picture book, and you can read it to them over the phone or while on a video chatting session. Free Wi-Fi in the assisted living community means you can stay connected to loved ones in all types of creative ways like this.
Attend Educational Opportunities Together
Schedule time with family members and attend educational opportunities together. You might attend a lecture or documentary showing with adult relatives or visit a museum with family of all ages. When possible, gather for a meal after the event so you can talk about what you learned. Flexible restaurant-style dining options at Bethesda Gardens mean you can even invite family members into the community for a post-event wrap-up.
Swap Knowledge With a Younger Relative
A great way to engage in multigenerational learning is to share skills or knowledge with each other. For example, you might have a head full of old family recipes, and your grandson may know a lot about navigating the internet. If you teach each other those skills, you get to spend quality time together while learning something new. Maybe you're really great with grammar; you might help someone in the family with their writing skills, and they can teach you about their favorite hobby. When you share things you're good at or interested in, you can carry on the activities of National Family Literacy Month throughout the entire year.
Don't be intimidated by learning something new or performing badly at a skill you haven't tried before (or haven't tried in many years). The goal of family literacy isn't to perfect specific skills. It's to spend quality time engaging in positive pursuits with the people you love.