I came across a homemade book that an FLDS Father made to help his children learn to read. Since the FLDS have strict rules about the kinds of things their children can be exposed to (i.e. no talking animals, no fantasy), it is common for family members to make homemade books.
Research shows that children raised in homes that promote family literacy grow up to be better readers and do better in school than children raised in homes where literacy is not promoted. There are lots of ways families can create literacy activities at home beyond simply reading to children (although this is critical!). Other activities can include looking through picture books and imagining stories to go along with them, teaching left-to-right page turning, singing, using songs to teach phonics and words, poetry, storytelling to teach start-to-finish, alphabet games, making homemade dictation books, or even having parents make book for their children to read.
Well, when I asked an FLDS friend if FLDS fathers are ever involved with their young children’s education, she immediately gave me several things she had on hand that she used for her own children. Apparently, the FLDS share their educational resources among them. This homemade book that an FLDS father made as an early literacy project to help his children learn to read is a beautiful example of that.
FATHER’S NEW CAR
Was that cute or what?! I could not resist sharing it. I informed the father who made this book that I had a copy of it and he was surprised. I asked permission to post it and he was hesitant. After giving him a day to think about it, he was still hesitant, so I informed him that I was going to post it anyway because it was a good example of a family literacy project, and that if he wanted me to take it down, he would have to take action against me, LOL.
(I make this disclaimer because whenever I discover something sweet or beautiful or positive about the FLDS people on my own, sometimes people will try to negate it by claiming it is staged, or planted, or somehow inauthentic. Nonsense! The materials my homeschooling FLDS girlfriend shared had been created long before I asked, and she shared them with me right after I asked.)
I will be posting other examples of what creative FLDS fathers have done as well. You won’t believe it!
I have to admit I was surprised at how involved that at least some of the FLDS fathers are in their children’s education. I pictured them as always being away at work, being patriarchal and stuffy, and leaving everything to do with the children to the mothers. At least in some cases, I am happy to be proven wrong.
The National Center for Family Literacy (now renamed the National Center for Families Learning) would probably be quite pleased with this, as they promote family involvement in the literacy education of their children.
Here is more academic information from the Harvard Family Literacy Project on family literacy.
By the way, Nov. 1 is Family Literacy Day! As a community of FLDS, ex-FLDS and outsiders, I hope we can all have a celebration filled with homemade books!