Help your child grow
One of our greatest responsibilities is to prepare young minds for learning. We feel that we are also called to prepare families for the important and ongoing role they have in their child’s learning journey. We believe that every parent wants to help their child learn but many parents need information about what skills, behaviors and expectations are age and developmentally appropriate for their preschool child. Parents often ask us for suggestions about how to help their child learn specific skills such as letter sounds or number recognition. Other parents find that flash cards and workbooks do not hold their child’s interest but are unsure of how else to teach their child.
In an effort to empower parents with the confidence, knowledge and ideas necessary to provide learning activities for their children at home, we create opportunities for parents and children to participate in learning activities together each and every preschool day. Upon entering the building each day there are several Parent/Child activities set up in the hallway. We ask parents/guardians to use the few minutes between arrival and the start of class to complete these learning activities with their child. These activities serve several purposes:
- First, they provide an enticing transition between home and school.
- Second, these activities are opportunities for children to participate in learning activities with significant adults in their worlds each and every preschool day.
- Third, these activities can provide valuable insight into the skills and abilities that children either have or need to work on in various areas of early literacy development and learning.
- Finally, these activities can serve as inspiration for parents as they seek to provide new and challenging learning experiences for their children at home.
Fun family activities
We seek to intentionally involve families in their children’s preschool experience. One way we do it is by holding two Family Nights each school year. These are opportunities for entire families – often extended family members, too – to come together for an evening of fun and learning. These events offer families the chance to get comfortable being in their child’s school, interacting with the families of their child’s classmates and developing positive connections with their child’s teachers. Our Family Nights always include opportunities for reading and writing, creativity, and positive family interactions. We have consistently enjoyed 80-90% participation in our Family Nights.
Each fall and spring we devote two days to Parent/Teacher Conferences. These conferences set aside specific opportunities for parents and teachers to come together for conversations about their children’s adjustment to school and all aspects of their child’s development. Teachers welcome the opportunity to learn more about each individual child and to develop a cooperative partnership with the parents and guardians who know the children best. Parents are welcome to request additional conference times with the director or teacher anytime they have questions or concerns.
We welcome and encourage parents to participate in their child’s preschool experience by volunteering to chaperone field trips and offer assistance in the classroom. Parents who are uncomfortable assisting with classroom duties are still welcome to come and simply observe their child’s daily activities. There are also many ways for parents to become involved with the preschool outside of the classroom – offering assistance in preparing learning materials, collecting and saving items for classroom use, or helping to keep the classroom in good condition.
As we approach the end of the preschool year we intensify our efforts to prepare families for their child’s transition into kindergarten and beyond. We set aside time during spring conferences to talk with families about this shift to formal education, suggesting ways to help their child make a smooth and successful adjustment to a new school and ways that parents can intentionally set out to form positive and collaborative partnerships with their child’s teachers and building administrators. Each spring we take all of our pre-k students on a field trip to a nearby elementary school building. Parents and guardians are encouraged to participate in this experience. We get a tour of the school from the building principal, spend time in kindergarten classrooms, participate in kindergarten lessons and experience lunchtime in the school cafeteria. Parents and children can use this shared experience as a basis for conversations about kindergarten and helps the children be better able to picture this new experience and feel more at ease about this next step.