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The Role of the Family

Child Development 7. The Role of the Family. Home and school are a young child’s two most important worlds If home and school are connected in positive and respectful ways, children feel secure True partnership

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The Role of the Family

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  1. Child Development 7 The Role of the Family

  2. Home and school are a young child’s two most important worlds • If home and school are connected in positive and respectful ways, children feel secure • True partnership • Focus instead on developing a relationship with every family so you can work together to support children’s healthy development and learning The Family’s Role

  3. If you try to relate to families in only one way, you will reach only a small percentage of the families who respond to that approach • Appreciating Differences • Family structure: start by keeping an open mind about what constitutes a family • Personality and temperament: some are easy to get to know, others shy away from school situations Getting to Know Families

  4. Appreciating Differences • Life experiences: education, socio-economic status, health issues, and length of time in this country • Cultural differences: Culture has been defined as the beliefs, values, and practices we have learned from our families, either by example or through explicit direction Getting to Know Families

  5. How did you become aware of your personal identity- nationality, culture, ethnicity? • How did you define a family? • Were girls treated differently from boys in your family? • How and when were you encouraged to express your ideas and feelings? • How was discipline handled? • Was independence encouraged? Gaining Self-Awareness

  6. Initial contacts with children’s families are opportunities to get to know a little about each other • Enrollment • Gather information by speaking informally with families during enrollment • Home Visits • Families are often more comfortable in their own setting than at school Using Initial Contacts to Learn About Families

  7. The environment you create in your classroom and the way you introduce the program can make families feel they belong and they have a role to play • Important message families can receive when they enter the building and your classroom is that this is also a place for them • Introducing your program: booklet, tour of the classroom, open house, letter to families, display Making Families Feel Welcome

  8. Building trust • To feel welcome, families need to trust you • All families come with expectations, responding in a positive manner • Greet family members by names • Uncover special skills • What topics interest parents • Reaching put to all family members Making Families Feel Welcome

  9. Good communication is essential for building partnerships. Families want to know what experiences their children are having at school and what have you learned about their child • Daily exchanges: make it a point to note something the child did during the day • Formal communications: daily or weekly bulletin, telephone calls, e-mail, journals Communicating with Families

  10. When parents are involved, children do better Teachers need to think of parent participation in new ways Involvement can take many forms-from contributions parents can make at home to classroom volunteering and sharing information on the child’s progress Partnering with Families on Children’s Learning

  11. Offering ways to be involved • Discover special interest or abilities of all family members • Ask family members what they enjoy doing with their children • Parent participation in curriculum planning Partnering with Families on Children’s Learning

  12. Making classroom participation meaningful • Enables them to see how you work with children and promote learning • Talk with families ahead of time • Flyer with ways how they participate • Observe and show you are interested • Follow children’s lead without taking over • Ask open-ended questions • Offer assistance when it Is needed Partnering with Families on Children’s Learning

  13. Meeting with families • Families will be interested in what you learned and you in turn can learn about the child from their family • Preparing for a conference • Child’s portfolio and your ongoing observations • Summarizing report • Conducting a conference • Share work samples • Explain each work sample • Families observation Partnering with Families on Children’s Learning

  14. Families under stress • Some families are coping with basic needs and experiencing ongoing stress • Community with violence • Unemployment • Demanding job • Domestic and/or substance abuse • Depression • Lack of insurance • Adapting to a new language and/or culture Responding to Challenging Situations

  15. Families under stress • Do not have the emotional energy or physical resources to provide nurturing care for their children • Let them know resources are available • Community agencies and hot lines • Brochures • A list of support groups Responding to Challenging Situations

  16. Dealing with misunderstanding • Understanding and respecting practices that are different from your own help you build positive relationships with families and involve them in your program • Sometimes accepting what the child does • Child’s language development Responding to Challenging Situations

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