The importance of home environments
Nursery World recently reported on the National Literacy Trust’s findings that parents think that nursery has more influence on their children’s communication and literacy skills than they do. I was thinking about this, and it kind of made me a bit worried. Are parents unaware of the importance of the home environment or are professionals so ‘professional’ that parents value their experience more than their own? And as professionals, how do we bridge the gap, and shift the focus back to parents?
The importance of the home environment is something that has been acknowledged as vital to a child’s learning and development. Children learn and grow through every day experiences. Parents are experts on their own children and every child needs to be treated as an individual.
As professionals, we need to remind parents that they’re providing children with excellent learning opportunities every day. Sometimes it needs to be more about pointing out the benefits of what’s happening already, instead of just pointing out what can be done. It might not be that parents think the nursery has more impact; they just might not be aware of the impact they’re having through daily tasks.
Education Scotland has recently launched a new parent resource; Every Day’s a Learning Day. There are two books filled with useful tips and information about simple home activities and how these help children learn. The book with information about birth to three years will be distributed in the Bookbug Baby Bag. The pre-school book features ideas and activities for children from 3-6 years and will be distributed in the Pirate Pack.
For more great resources and ideas you can pass on to parents, visit the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life campaign