Family Stories Bring Generations Together
Every family has unique life stories to share. Collecting and expressing family narratives maintains our sense of belonging, as we pass on our values, wisdom, virtues, beliefs, and cultures. Your descendants can catch a glimpse into your life and learn positive lessons from your family’s stories of overcoming obstacles. Families that write, talk and share their stories can provide hope and important insights for future generations.
Writing and illustrating your family story can be a creative experience that can turn into a full-fledged book project. Family bonds grow stronger and more personal as you collect and share stories. Family stories can be shared orally and can be interpreted visually with illustrations and photographs.
Encouraging all family members, young and old, to engage in storytelling can foster learning and growth within your family and can provide children with a stronger identity, greater personal interrelationships, and healthy development.
My Three-Generation Family Story Collaboration
When I was younger, my family and I embarked on a three-generation collaborative book project that was brought to life with a story told by my mother and me, and was then illustrated with my grandmother’s artwork.
Our story, Huckleberry Robin, is a published children’s book based on the true story of a lost baby robin who is found and taken care of by a young girl. The baby bird, Huckleberry, is later released back into nature to be reunited with his family.
Writing this story brought three generations of our family closer together. Each of us contributed creative skills and strengths, and we treasured the time together as the story unfolded. I was inspired watching the baby robins as they hatched and nestled outside my window. Now, looking back as an adult, I realize that our collaborative book project was a highlight of my younger years and has ignited my lifelong love of reading and writing. It is this passion for family storytelling that I hope others can experience and embrace as well.
Benefits of Raising Children with a Love of Literacy
To cultivate your children’s love for reading and writing, make it a daily goal to read a variety of books with your children. Take turns reading aloud to them and having them read aloud to you, while helping them spell out and pronounce challenging words.
Frequent your local library and bookstores with your family to expand your range of books, and gather ideas and inspiration for creating your own family stories. Improve your children’s literacy skills, build their vocabulary and help them learn new words as you explore new stories.
Studies show that children raised in homes with exposure to family literacy do better in school and are better readers than children who grow up in homes where literacy is not promoted.
One study has shown that the more children know about their own family history, the higher their self-esteem, the stronger their sense of control over their lives and the more successful they believe their families are.
Children’s Family Storytelling Projects
One way to initiate a family story project is to share stories orally. Ask an older family member to tell the story, and then younger family members can re-tell the story in their own words. Compile children’s drawings, add words and use photos and cutouts from magazines. Family stories can also be told through monologues, poetry, and songs.
Family books are filled with special memories and can range from homemade, simple projects to complex, professional publications. With self-publishing resources, your family story can be shared on smartphones, tablets, and computers with family, friends and even a world-wide audience.
Amazon’s Kindle Kids’ Book Creator is a free tool that supports multiple layouts for children’s books and enables your family story to be uploaded to Kindle. If you want a print version of your book, Amazon’s CreateSpace and Lulu “print-on-demand” services are the answer, where you get to choose your book size, paper, and binding for a completely customizable package.
Inspire Passion for Reading and Writing
Don’t miss the opportunity to bring your family closer together and inspire a life-long love for literacy. Share and preserve your family’s treasured memories today and with generations to come!