Posted on 08/17/2011 at 12:09 PM by Global Reach
"Why do we have to do those home visits?"
Many teachers ask that question at this time of the year. Some may be even slightly uncomfortable with them. But there are some very good reasons to do them - in addition to the fact that they are required in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program legislation.
Home and school are a young child’s two most important worlds. Very young children must learn to bridge these two worlds as they enter the world of preschool. If home and school are connected in positive and respectful ways, children feel secure. Without that connection, children may be apprehensive, fearful, anxious or timid. The relationship may suffer initially and take much longer to establish.
When teachers build partnerships with families they demonstrate that they truly value the family’s role in education. Developing partnerships begins with the teacher’s willingness to visit the child where he/she is most secure – in his/her own home.
Before making the visit, send a welcoming postcard or make a call to the family. Go with the intention of getting to know the family and the child’s specific interests or needs. Invite families to talk about themselves but also share your personal story with them. You might want to bring a camera and take a picture of the child with his/her family member; then display it in the classroom on the first day. Consider bringing a small gift such as a book or crayons.
Visiting all children in their homes may not be possible, so you may need to offer an alternative – meet at the park or library. Make an effort to communicate with every family in some way.
Getting to know the child and develop a relationship with the family helps everyone to feel secure on that first day of school.
For more information on working with families, check out the new Creative Curriculum book, The Foundation. Chapter 5 is called Partnering with Families.