Walking Stick Blogger

A Learning Space for Literacy and English Language Learners

Story Sacks, Family Literacy, and Being a Dad

I have some time away from teaching, (for the rest of the summer) and free now to explore literacy blogs and explore ideas.

Story Sacks seems very interesting – and I was wondering how relevant it would be for adults, and not just for children. The Story Sacks Canada site has a photo gallery with examples of story sacks.

A Storysack includes a good book with lots of activities to bring reading to life. It is a fun way for children and adults to read together. Storysacks are not bought from stores; they are made by the community.

In addition to the book itself, it is suggested that Storysacks contain props, models, dolls, carvings, paintings or drawings, another (non-fiction) book linked to the story, activities, puzzles, word or number games based on the story, and an audio tape of the story.

It is getting me thinking: could this be an activity that the adults could do with their children as part of their learning with the College Literacy program? Could we have a few days a month in which we have family days, when parents bring their children to work together on building storysacks? I would need a lot of help from the parents, to guide me.

Working with children is a bit of grey area for me – I have been married almost a year now, and have four daughters, and one grand-daughter. I also have several nieces and nephews. One thing I noticed over teh past few years, is the sacrifices made taking time out for graduate studies, working in isolation at the computer instead of enjoying the children play. So much time had to be given up to complete the studies…so this is my response to that lack of attention..I want to learn more about being a dad, about helping my daughters learn to love books, to love reading, and by helping them, help myself become a more balanced, whole human being.

I honestly have not got much of a clue where to begin. I hardly know how to use a glue gun without burning myself, for heaven’s sakes. I got a dremel tool and hardly used it – my wife loves the tools, and I got her a toolbox recently. I am not much of a hands-on kind of person.

But I am determined to press on, making mistakes, and be a kid again with my children. Get the hands dirty with water colours and plasticine, run through sprinklers on a hot sunny day, play…and share my time while beach-combing on the beaches, or collecting crabs, shells, and stones.

The idea of the storysacks, storytents, and storywagons – see my previous post has opened up possibilities for being creative, for giving myself permission to play again.

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netizenship • July 18, 2010

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