Ideas for Parent Involvement

I think many parents truly do want to be involved in their child’s school life. But Just like us, at the end of the day they go home tired from their job. And just like us, they still have dinner to cook and laundry, etc. etc.. So how do we get parents involved? I have found that ‘Homework’ notes work well. These allow parents to be as involved as they want and gives ideas of what kinds of learning activities preschoolers are capable of performing.

Here are some examples that you could share with your parents. If you are trying to count volunteer hours, ask them to tell you how much time they spent doing each activity and then count that time towards parent in-kind.

Dear ParentHelp your child learn about taking care of the earth and cleaning up while doing this fun activity. Have your child collect uncrushed aluminum cans. Show them how to set then end on end and smash the can as flat as possible with their foot. Then have him/her toss the cans into a box that is about three feet away. As the child gets better at tossing, you can move the box further away. Stomping and tossing are great ways to exercise and to gain large motor control.

Dear ParentPlease ask your child to write a short story (2-3 sentences) about what they did over the weekend. Encourage your child to draw a picture to go along with the story. Send it back to school and we can share it with the class.

Dear ParentTying shoelaces is an important skill for your child to know before they go to Kindergarten. Unfortunately, many teachers do not believe in helping tie shoes. I admit that I find teaching children to tie their shoes difficult. Please take some time to help your child so they will not have to worry about uncomfortable or unsafe shoes while at school. Snapguide .com has a copy of a video to show the correct way to tie a shoelace.

Dear ParentAs your child gets ready for Kindergarten, help make sure that s/he knows how to be safe around traffic. Help your child learn these basic traffic safety rules. 1) Stand back 5 paces from the road while you wait for the school bus. 2) Do not run or play in the street. 3) Wait on the curb for the light to turn green before you cross the street. 4) Only cross the street at corners. 5) Always look both ways for traffic before you step out into the road. 6) Always remember to buckle up as soon as you get in the car.

Dear ParentA deck of playing cards is a great way to help your child learn to recognize numbers and beginning math concepts. Here are two examples. 1) Take all the cards from one suit, remove the face cards and have your child put them in order from 1-10. 2) Divide the number cards evenly among players. At the count of three, each person turns over a card. The person with the highest number gets to take all the cards. The winner is the person who collects all the cards, or has the most when you tire of playing. Most of all, have fun with your child.

Dear ParentYou can teach your child to understand books when you read to them at home. Talk to your child about the cover of the book. Can they guess what the story might be about from the illustration? While you are looking at the cover, note to your child the author who wrote the story and the illustrator that made the artwork. Example; This book is called the Busy Zoo. Can you name all the animals?

Dear Parent Learning colors is an important skill for young children. You can help by making color naming into a game. Play “I’m thinking of”. “I’m thinking of something that is green like the color of your shirt. I’m thinking of something that is red. When your child is good at naming his/her basic colors, teach some of the more interesting named ones such as indigo, magenta, gold, and forest.

Dear ParentIt is important for your child to learn to verbalize his/her preferences and choices. You can help your child by giving them a choice of A or B. Make sure that your choices are things that you can live with so that you do not have to say “NO” when you gave them a choice. Examples; 1) Would you like to wear your red shirt or your blue shirt to school today? 2) Would you like to read a story or color a picture for 5 minutes before you go to bed? 3) You may choose one kind of cereal that you can eat every other day and every other day is my choice. 4) You can either do your homework before you take a bath or after you take your bath. Which do you want to do first?

Dear ParentYou can help your child learn to count by playing counting games with them. Have your child count how many people are sitting at your supper table. How many cars are out in front of your building or driving down the street in a three minute time frame. Can your child look at several objects and count them with his/her eyes only? When they estimate ,”how many”, (1-20) are they relatively close? Encourage your child to count objects everyday. First work on 1-5 and then to 10 and on! In Kindergarten they will learn to count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s!

Dear ParentWhile doing laundry, you can have your child gain mathematical skills. Ask your child to match pairs of socks, sort your clothes from her clothes, and make sure there are enough hangers for all things that need hanging. Ask how many pants did we fold? Who has the biggest pants, the smallest pants? Who wears striped shirts or shirts with numbers and writing on them? Does your child recognize any of the numbers or letters?