Foundations 3, Part 2
Strategies for Family Engagement
Here is a quick overview of a one-month action plan to invite families into the educational experience.
WEEK ONE: Introduce yourself and the curriculum
- Mail a personal letter and curriculum flyer
- Hand out the monthly newsletter
- Hand out the monthly book list
- Post the daily routine
- Post the monthly activity calendar
WEEK TWO: Introduce the Skills
- Post the skills poster
- Hand out a skills poster
- Send home child’s art with My Creative Mind cards
WEEK THREE: Invite families to a special event
- Hand out invitations to an Open House
- Decorate your room with child’s art
WEEK FOUR: Host the Event
- Show and tell about the children
- Hand out next month’s book list
For more details and downloadable resources to prepare for this first month of engagement, look for the green “Action” alerts below and take the allotted time to do these actions while you read through this training. By the end of the training, you will have the materials and strategies ready to implement with your families.
PRIOR TO WEEK ONE
Introduce yourself and the curriculum
To help prepare families for the educational journey that you will all take together, we suggest you prepare a flyer about the curriculum along with a personalized letter from you. These two documents will communicate that you are a qualified teacher who is passionate about your job. Providing early care and education is a demanding career and it is helpful to establish a professional working relationship with the families from day one.
In your personal letter, you should include the following information:
- Your name
- Number of years teaching young children
- Why you chose teaching as your career
- Education background and/or list of specific trainings you have had, e.g., CPR or child development
- Your hobbies
- Your commitment to and excitement about learning the unique strengths and personality of their child
- Write your letter now (20 minutes).
Pair this letter with information about the Mother Goose Time with Experience Early Learning curriculum that you will be teaching. There are two download resources online for information about the Experience Early Learning Programs.
- Print, read and set out these flyers to mail with your personal letter (20 minutes).
- Family Information Guide https://secure.mothergoosetime.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/MGT_Family_Guide_2019.pdf
- Family Flyer https://secure.mothergoosetime.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/FamilyFlyer.pdf
During the first week, talk about the theme of the month.
The first week of preschool is especially important for both the child and parents. Communicating that you have a routine that will be fun, predictable and safe will comfort the child and reassure the parent.
Post your general daily routine in your classroom so that the families can see you implement an intentional program. An example of a daily routine for preschool is listed here and also found in your Curriculum Overview Guidebook.
- Read pages 12-13 now (10 minutes).
- Create your own daily routine poster (15 minutes).
Families may wonder how you will bring this daily routine to life each month. By hanging the Monthly Activity Calendar next to your daily routine, parents will see that there is a focus and goal for the month. This planning calendar is available in the Teacher Tool Bag in every Experience Preschool kit.
- Find your Monthly Calendar in your curriculum kit’s Teacher Tool Bag.
- Post this calendar now and familiarize yourself with the monthly, weekly and daily topics and goals so that you are prepared to communicate with your family (15 minutes).
When families pick up their child on the first day, point to this monthly calendar and also hand them the monthly newsletter.
- Find the Monthly Newsletter in your Lesson 1 bag in your curriculum kit. Set it out for parents to take tomorrow morning (10 minutes).
- Explain that each month features a new theme. This Newsletter will explain what their child is learning and also features a few suggestions for them to share at home.
At the end of the week, print and give each parent a recommended book list. Explain that you read at least twice daily to the child. Reading is important for the child’s development and you have a list of books families can find at the local library. The new book list for each theme is available in the Member Resource section at ExperienceEarlyLearning.com
- Find and print your monthly book list now. Make sure to print one for each family (10 minutes).
During the second week, talk about skills the child is developing.
Begin to send home the child’s art work to communicate what the child is learning naturally by participating in the activities. Attach the “My Creative Mind” card to the child’s work. Explain that as the child plays and creates projects, they are learning important skills. These skills are described on the “My Creative Mind” daily notes.
- Find the “My Creative Mind” cards in the lesson bags numbered 1, 6, 11 and 16.
- Cut apart the cards for this week and make piles by project so they are ready to go for the week (15 minutes).
During the third week, invite families to a special event.
When families know they are welcome in the school, they will understand that they also belong. By hosting a family event at the end of the first month, you give families an easy and fun way to explore the school with their child. We recommend you begin with an Open House party. During this time, you can have some of the child’s artwork from the first few weeks on display. If parents have signed a photo release form, you can also display a few photos of the child participating during your daily routine.
- Download and print the Open House Kit.
- Address the postcards and put them in the mail for each family (25 minutes).
To plan your Open House or other Celebration event, download these free resource packs from Experience Early Learning
Engaging families is a yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily approach to interacting and communicating.
Each month, refresh your displays to show the new theme, hand out the Newsletter and give the daily “Creative Mind Cards.” As you build consistency with your communication, you open the door to deeper discussions and collaborative goal-setting for the child when unexpected challenges arrive.
After reading, downloading the resources and preparing for your month of family engagement, take the following quiz to demonstrate your competency on these family engagement strategies and to earn a certificate for five hours. Remember to sign into your training account to make sure your name prints on the certificate. If you have not yet signed in, sign in here.