There's a fine balance between overdoing it and not doing enough. Thus, parents need to consider how they can support what their children are learning through the day.
What are the benefits of parent involvement?
It's true when they say a child's most important cognitive development takes place during their preschool years. Like a sponge, they are quick to absorb and process information. Parents can play an active role in this phase by supporting them in all their required needs for them to develop to their full potential.
By providing the right tools and teaching methods, the lessons they learn will carry them as they grow older. Parent involvement helps extend teaching outside the classroom, creates a more positive experience for children and helps children perform better when they are in school.
Parents need to support the learning that happens in preschool settings at home as well. Parents who are in tune with what is happening in their child’s preschool can better establish a connection between what's learned at school and what happens at home.
This connection is an essential element to a child’s development and supporting further learning. One way parents can stay in touch with their children's progress is through a school management system. A parent portal that allows parents to communicate with teachers, view portfolio moments and progress reports will strengthen the connection.
What are the roles parent can play in early childhood education?
Parental involvement in early childhood expands the child to succeed academically. For example, parents interest in learning shows that they value education and they know the best for their child. Parents that are involved in their child curriculum can further expand on what their child has learned in school. For example, if the child learns about history, parents might take the child to the museum or find interesting books in the library.
Furthermore, parents that are involved in a child’s education do help the child but the parents themselves as well! For example, parents that are involved will help to cope with separation anxiety. This will allow the parent and child to have a healthier relationship.
Children can also adjust better in school when parents are involved, allowing them to have a more positive attitude towards education. The role that parents play can have a big impact on the child's future in education.
How to encourage parents to be involved in their child's education?
- Communication is key: Check in with your child’s preschool teachers regularly. Ask fundamental questions such as: Which areas is my child doing well in? Which areas can they improve in and how can I help? What is my child currently learning and how can I support this with related activities at home?
- Attend school activities: Make an effort to attend parent-teacher conferences, school plays, concerts and class presentations. This gives the child the feeling of support and motivates them even further.
- Arrange educational trips: Plan trips with your child to museums, libraries and discovery centres. If your child is learning about flowers, you could take them on a trip to a flower park. This will provide them with an opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained in preschool to real-life environments.
- Home-based learning: Reinforce what the child has learned at school at home e.g. singing song and rhymes based on key elements they learned in class. LittleLives' Portfolio allows teachers to share the child's learning journey which parents can view and partake at home.
- Ask questions: Constantly ask open-ended questions, e.g. how was their day at school, did you learn anything new? What was the highlight of the day? What was the hardest part of the day? This is a great way to encourage children to reflect on their learning.
In conclusion, parental or family involvement in early childhood education is extremely important for the child development. Children will feel secure and protected with the involvement of family. Family involvement in preschool setting may give the parents a chance to know more about how their children are developing academically. Parents that give most of their time to their children will develop a healthy and happy living lifestyle.
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