Goodstart Morwell helping parents to teach at home
Teaching parents how to interact with their children by including play-based learning in their routine is the aim of a “Play Nights” program at Goodstart Morwell
The centre has set up the program to give parents tips and advice on activities they can do at home with their children – from literacy to numeracy, science to expressive art.
Centre senior educator Emma Patton said she first came up with the idea when two of the educators attended a Smith Family Let’s Count training session.
“It was a two-day program and at the end we were challenged to come up with ways to encourage families to get more involved in the early learning process,” Ms Patton said.
“We started with a one-off night where we talked to parents about numeracy and from there have decided to host classes once a month, focusing on different programs within the kinder curriculum.”
Numeracy, science, literacy, expressive art and dramatic and imaginative play are all on the agenda and Ms Patton said parents were keen to get some tips.
“We all assume that parents intrinsically know how to relate to their children and how to engage in early learning with them but not all do, or have the time to.”
She said the night sessions encouraged parents to play with children and highlighted what learning was gained through that play.
“When you think about how busy families are at night with the dinner, bath, and bed routine, it seems like there is no time. But if you introduce counting and measuring in to the cooking routine, you have an example of play-based learning.
“By the end of the first session, parents were talking about setting goals for their child’s learning and getting them ready for school so it’s showing benefits already.”
The program coincides with kinder information nights to introduce parents to the Goodstart Early Learning kinder program, which is run by Bachelor-degree teachers.
“Our main goal is for parents to see the learning that the children are doing during the day and realise that learning doesn’t just happen here – it can happen at home as well,” Ms Patton said.
“If you can get into the habit of doing a little bit every day, you soon discover that everything you do at home can potentially advance a child’s learning and get them ready for school.”
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
- When you are cooking a meal at home, ask the children to help out by measuring, mixing and pouring. This is great for numeracy skills.
- If you go for a walk or a drive in the car, encourage children to notice the different shapes of leaves and trees, and the colours of cars.
- When shopping, talk about what products cost and what those numbers look like. Count how many items you will buy.
- When playing outside or riding a bike, ask children to look at the different parts of the bike, or count the number of puddles they ride or walk through.