Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Parent Participation

Every year, we schedule 3 parent conferences (30 minutes during the pickup time in the afternoon in Nov., Feb., May) and 3 observations (30 minutes during the morning after dropping the children off). All sessions are made optional, but last year I noticed a waning in the number of parents who signed up for observation in the middle session.

Since parents often, perhaps I imagined this, ask me if and when they can come in to work or interact with the children, I decided to change the second session of observation/conference into a participation/conference. For the last 30 minutes of the day for a month, any parent who wants to come in and give a lesson, read a book, teach a song, cook, demonstrate something is invited to.

We had a huge turnout for the participation and it's been really interesting seeing the types of lessons parents have come up with. We've had fly fishing demonstrations, group painting, craft works, book reading, a presentation about Togo... It's nice as well to give the children an opportunity to get to know the parents a bit better and they are enjoying it!

I'm thinking this will be a permanent change in our calendar because it's a great way to improve community spirit, a learning opportunity for both children and adults, and it's actually been great fun.


Anonymous said...

What a simple, straight-forward way to build community, and share the message with children that EVERYONE has something to share or teach! I love it!

Sheryl Doolittle
Bambini Montessori
Flagstaff, Arizona

Laura S. said...

Hi Susanne,
We have a regular program called Mystery Reader where family members can sign up to come in to read to the children in the last 20 minutes of Friday afternoon. The Mystery Reader is a surprise, so the children don't know if their parent/grandparent/older sibling, etc might be coming in. It's been a big hit and the children love it. We do sign-ups before each month for the upcoming month.

Selvia said...

It's such a creative way to make the parents as the part of children's learning. TQ