When I do workshops and trainings with teachers, I often hear several variations of the same question.
“But what about at home?”
“How do we help parents to see the value of what we’re doing in a developmentally appropriate classroom if there are no worksheets going home as ‘proof’?”
“Is there a way to help parents understand how to support their child’s learning that can fit into that little window of time when we see them at pick up and drop off?”
“What do I do when parents ask for homework?”
I recently joined Rae Pica in a discussion with Alison Pepper, who last month released a book that addresses ALL of these questions.
Her book, Kick-Start Kindergarten Readiness* (*affiliate link), may sound at first blush like another attempt to rush children through childhood as though it’s a competition. But in reality, it’s a guide for promoting developmentally appropriate, authentic early learning experiences.
In many spaces, worksheets have taken over as the key piece of engagement with parents. Parents can hold this tangible piece of work, and feel confident that their kids are “doing something”. They recognize the output on the page. As long as worksheets are coming home, they assume their child is learning.
But the reality is, particularly when it comes to early childhood, these shortcuts to evidence, are often deficient in terms of real value for foundational learning. Hands-on, interactive experiences provide a fuller, richer experience for these early learners.
But how do we educate parents, helping them to see, value, and even implement these types of activities over the easily recognized, prepackaged activities and workbooks?
That was the topic of our discussion. You can catch the fast-paced conversation here.
This conversation may inspire you to create your own parent education pieces, or you may want to check out the parent letters and home activities Alison prepared in her book here*.
(Another resource I strongly recommend for authentically building early learning skills while also educating parents is the book, Raising a Rock Star Reader.*)