Children learn in different environments and it’s essential that parents and the general child care teacher are on the same page about a child’s strengths and weaknesses. This is best done by having a sit-down conference with the teacher. A conference gives everyone involved more time to focus on one child without distraction and work together on a program that best suits your child. There are some things you can do to help make this important meeting a success.
Discuss home situations – This isn’t the time to keep “family business” quiet. Things like a divorce, a parent or sibling’s illness or financial events like job loss can all impact a child’s learning and behavior. Be willing to let the child care worker know of these things.
Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask if your child is ahead, behind or on schedule. If you don’t know something, ask. Teachers can often fill in the blanks that you are unsure of and let you know when you are doing things correctly.
Listen with an open mind – Don’t close down if the teacher starts mentioning issues. Listen and try to help figure out what is going on and how it can be addressed. Sometimes behavior issues will occur at school but not at home. Maybe your child excels in all but one area.
Ask how you can help – Discuss activities you can do at home that can help increase your child’s learning experience. Learning doesn’t stop at the classroom door.
Advocate – You are your child’s greatest asset. Do not hesitate to make sure any special needs are addressed and that your child is being given the chance to thrive in the learning environment.
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.