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Book details
  • SubGenre:Early Childhood
  • Language:English
  • Pages:84
  • eBook ISBN:9781098330026
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098330019

When Home Becomes School

Teaching Tips for Parents/Caregivers of PreK to Grade 1 Children

by Joanne Robertson-Eletto and Mary Esposito

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After reading this book you will become familiar with: • Grade level literacy standards and learning expectations for Prekindergarten to Grade One; • Strategies to help your child master the literacy tasks commonly presented in these primary grades; • Methods to guide your child to read and write on their own, with competency, proficiency, and joy; • How to create playful learning environments, that allow your child to demonstrate what he or she knows, and needs to learn (i.e., writing letters the alphabet); • Games and activities that can reinforce reading and writing development; • Fiction and nonfiction books that will motivate your child to read; • Various read aloud and questioning techniques when sharing a book with your child; • Digital websites and learning platforms that are appropriate for grades Prekindergarten to Grade One.
During the "Coronavirus spring" of 2020, many parents/caregivers were asked to fill in for their children's teachers. They were understandably worried and anxious about school closings and quarantines, but thankful for the extra time with them. They attempted to create active, playful learning experiences that would interest their children, and meet their social, emotional, and developmental needs. "Retro" activities such as board games, bike riding, flying kites, and even fishing made a come-back. During free times when their children napped, or finally went to bed, parents/caregivers worked to complete their home and job-related responsibilities. They believed the situation was temporary, and strove to maintain a sense of normalcy. Weeks later, when they were asked to assist their children to complete learning assignments sent via computer from the teacher, many expressed a need to know more about virtual learning, grade level standards, and appropriate instructional methods. Teaching their own children proved to be a daunting task, and what emerged was a newfound appreciation for the time, thought, and effort teachers put into their lessons every day. I personally observed this message written on one parent's car door, "My child is not a pleasure to have in class!" The transition to home schooling was a transformative experience for teachers, parents, and children. Many parents/caregivers initially embraced their new responsibilities with eagerness, energy, and joy. They networked within their communities and parents' groups for ideas, and scoured the web for enrichment activities. Other families, however, had quite different experiences. Many school districts did not have enough tablets/Chromebooks to distribute to students. Those who were lucky enough to receive one, often had to share it with other family members. Since libraries were closed, families did not have access to computers, and in some cases Wi-Fi. When and if schools begin face-to-face instruction, it is more than likely that parents/caregivers will continue to be involved in their children's education. Some might opt for virtual learning at home, or homeschooling. If schools adopt in-person, remote, or hybrid models of instruction, parents/caregivers will once again be asked to support learning at home. As a result, parents are for the most part: • Very concerned about learning loss due to the extended quarantine; • Not trained, or particularly confident, using digital platforms and virtual learning modalities to build their child's knowledge base and motivation to learn; • Unsure of ways to enact standards-based literacy lessons, and keep their children actively involved and interested; • Anxious to know what their child is expected to know in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade. This book is written for them! In each chapter, a variety of teacher-tested and child-approved activities are described for Prekindergarten to Grade One. To build upon parents' newly-gained confidence, we present literacy strategies, as well as high-interest books and websites geared towards early readers and writers. We include games/activities to support alphabetic and print awareness, ways to build a child's sight word vocabulary, and instructional web links that allow parents/caregivers to view video clips. All of the ideas are flexible and easily adjusted to meet the individual needs of each child. With the additional information provided in this book, parents/caregivers will be introduced to tips to promote and sustain their child's interest and confidence in reading and writing.
About the author
Joanne Robertson-Eletto is an Associate Professor of Education in the Master of Science in Teaching Literacy Program, at Touro College Graduate School of Education, as well as an author and literacy consultant. She received her doctoral degree in Reading, Language, and Cognition from Hofstra University. Since then, she has published extensively and presented her research at national and international conferences. Her current research explores the social-emotional components of early language and literacy development. In addition to her scholarly publications, Dr. Robertson-Eletto wrote two children's books – Rocky the Okeeheelee Bandit and Barry: From Puppy to Patriot. Her current picture book, The Littlest Coo, showcases her own watercolor illustrations. She reviews and critiques children's literature at her own blog, www.thebookteacher.com