As a mom of a ten and seven year old, I fully acknowledge that parenting is hard especially since in the course of any day, we wear several hats that can include party planner, playtime buddy, discipliner, confidant, nurse, and teacher and more while juggling work, family schedules, and whatever else life throws at us. I know that my role as a parent is to help our kids learn to navigate the world so they can succeed in life but many parents often wonder how much of a role they play in their child’s education. There are sometimes gray areas about where the line lies between a parent’s responsibilities and the teacher’s.
If these are questions that you’re facing as a parent living in the DC Metro Area, I hope you’ll join me at The National Center for Families Learning’s (NCFL) 22nd annual Families Learning Summit and National Conference on Family Literacy. Held in Washington, DC, on February 17 – 19, the Families Learning Summit is designed to connect parents, media, and education professionals to learn more about the major role families play in their child’s education, and to surface challenges – and solutions – that all families face.
The two and a half day agenda for the “premier event focused on learning and education for children and their families” includes sessions related to emerging research, policy insights, family engagement and academic standards by incredible experts whose work I’ve studied as a former teacher and psychology major and others that I’ve had the privilege of speaking on panels with before. Some of the speakers include:
- Holly Robinson Peete, actress, parent, education advocate and founder of the HollyRod Foundation. As a contestant on the hit television series Celebrity Apprentice, Peete set fundraising records for her charity, which raises awareness for consistent and reliable education, outreach, and support for both Parkinson’s disease and autism
- Dr. Joyce Epstein, parent involvement expert and director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University
- Jackie Hance & Janice Kaplan, authors of I’ll See You Again
- Dr. Shirley Brice Heath, professor of linguistics, emerita, Stanford University, and author of Words at Work and Play: Three Decades in Family and Community Life
- Dr. Vikki Katz, assistant professor, Rutgers University, and author of Kids in the Middle: How Children of Immigrants Negotiate Community Interactions for their Families
- Christopher Lehman, literacy expert and author of books for educators including Pathways to the Common Core
- R.J. Palacio, author of the best-selling book Wonder
- Annie Murphy Paul, author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives
- Dr. Raymond Terrell,, educator with more than 40 years of experience with diversity and equity issues
- Guadalupe Valdes, the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education at Stanford University
- Ellen Wartella, director of the Center on Media and Human Development and professor at Northwestern University
- Greg Toppo, USA Today’s national K-12 education and demographics reporter
There will also be sessions with the Smithsonian Institution’s educational experts, an opportunity to meet and hear from young-adult best-selling author R.J. Palacio whose book, Wonder, is a favorite of Little Miss Techie, sessions provided by the Literacy Funders Network (LFN ) that will provide exciting insights on literacy efforts, and so much more! The full conference agenda can be found here.
I’m excited to be attending the Families Learning Summit and joining NCFL’s vice president, Emily Kirkpatrick, as a Twitter party panelist about the amazing Wonderopolis.org, on Tuesday, February 18 from 9-10 pm ET / 6-7 pm PT and hope you’ll mark your calendars to join me for this exciting conversation!
If you aren’t familiar with Wonderopolis, it’s a site that promotes natural curiosity and inquiry for learners of all ages. I’ve been a fan for a long time because it always provides inspiration for ways I can include more learning in our everyday life in a natural way that makes sense for our family. It doesn’t induce parental guilt that you’re not doing enough. Instead, the highly visual site makes me more mindful to explore with my kids and let them guide learning about topics they want to explore outside the classroom.
The visual interface is easy for kids to use to find questions they want to know answers to like What makes hair grow?, How many seconds are in a year?, and a personal favorite- How do touch screens work? With pages and pages of questions, kids can learn answers to the questions they already have while learning new facts daily. I love that the text is age appropriate for elementary readers but not too simple for older ages. The video content that accompanies each question is fabulous too!
Here’s some additional information about this fantastic site that’s a must-visit for all parents!
Brought to life by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), our Wonders of the Day® will help you find learning moments in everyday life—ones that fit in with dinner preparations, carpool responsibilities, a stolen moment between breakfast and the bus, or within school curriculum and education programs. Wonder is for everyone. It can happen anywhere and at anytime. Connecting the learning we do in our schools, our homes, and our communities, Wonderopolis walks the line between formal and informal education. Each day, we pose an intriguing question and explore it in a variety of ways. Our approach both informs and encourages new questions, sparking new paths of wonder and discovery in family and classroom settings.
If you’re in the DC Metro Area and would like to join me at the Families Learning Summit, NCFL has graciously provided a VIP package that includes one full conference pass (worth $475) and a book set containing signed copies of Wonder by R.J. Palacio and Jackie Hance’s I’ll See You Again. Please note that you are welcome to live outside Washington, D.C. but the giveaway only covers the conference pass.
For readers outside Washington, D.C, I hope you’ll join me for the Wonderopolis Wonder chat will take place on Tuesday, February 18 from 9-10 pm ET / 6-7 pm PT. and enter to win one of two sets of signed copies of Wonder and I’ll See You Again.
To enter, take a look at the Families Learning Summit agenda and let me know which session would be most helpful to you and your family! Leave the name of the session in your comment before Sunday, February 9. Winners will be contacted via email.
For extra entries for the VIP package and signed book sets, complete the required entry above and do any of the following:
- Follow National Center for Families Learning on Twitter @NCFL and let me know in your comment. (1 entry)
- Follow Wonderopolis on Twitter and mark your calendar to join me on Tuesday, February 18 from 9-10 pm ET / 6-7 pm PT for our Twitter party. (1 entry)
- Explore Wonderopolis and share your favorite section in your comment. (1 entry)
- Tweet this daily and leave a link to your Tweet in your comment: #DC parents! Win tix 2 Nat’l Center for Families Learning Families Learning Summit & signed books fr @NCFL http://ow.ly/t9hMs (1 entry/day)
NCFL has provided me with a conference pass and accommodations to attend the conference and join them for the Twitter party. No other compensation was receive for this post or hosting the giveaway. Amazon Affiliate links included for the books.