For years the home has been known as the child’s first school. It is during the early years that children begin to learn basic skills, routines, and tasks that stay with them forever and develop over the years. With this in mind, as part of our ongoing changes at FunShine Express, we have updated one of our components that facilitates communication between the two main environments of a child, home and school, the Family Newsletter.
This change to the Fireflies and Buttercups Newsletters engages parents in their children’s learning process. The new section invites parents to review theme-related concepts at home. In general, the Family Newsletters inform families about what children are learning each month, suggest songs, rhymes, and books for extending learning, and suggest ways to engage with children and reinforce the concepts that have been taught in the center. The newsletter can be sent back to be shared with the group and then returned home again.
Fireflies: Watch Me Learn!
The September Fireflies Family Newsletter offers two person outlines for parents to work with their children on designing one person as themselves and the other as a friend. As parents work on this activity with their child they will observe and encourage their child’s creativity and can use the activity as a conversation starter regarding friendship. In completing this activity, the children will also review physical traits and clothing pieces, all while working on fine motor skills. Each month will offer a new activity for children and families to do together.
Buttercups: Help Me Grow!
The Sept/Oct Buttercups Family Newsletter invites families to review the circle shape and the orange color with their children. Children are invited to fill three drawn circles with assorted orange materials. Through this activity, children explore assorted materials and textures. By assisting children in this activity, parents are given the opportunity to appreciate children’s fine motor development. Parents can also use it as inspiration to continue to work with children at home. Each newsletter will include a new activity to do together.
Benefits of Using Family Newsletters
When children begin to interact with new adults and friends, start to live new experiences in child care, and spend time separated from their family, it helps them feel safe when they see their parents involved in this new environment that is now part of their lives. The use of the Family Newsletter facilitates the communication between home and school and benefits children by reinforcing skills at home.
Cues for Including the Newsletters in Your Program
- Consider displaying the Family Newsletters in an area of your classroom where children can appreciate them. Challenge children to recognize their own marks or name.
- When you see children appreciating the newsletters, ask them to talk briefly about how they felt while working on it. Help them recall steps, materials used, and with whom they worked.
- Work together with parents to coordinate a schedule in which one family at a time is invited to visit and share their experience with the rest of the group. Suggest they share photos or a funny story.