It’s just about time to return to more structured learning and curriculum in your childcare as we gear up for a new school year. Here are some tips to start the school year strong.
Get to know parents
While your focus as the school year begins is probably on your students and what you’ll be teaching them, be sure to give parents some added attention as well. Parents play a key role in their child’s success at school by encouraging their children, applying lessons learned at school in the home and ensuring children do homework to solidify learnings.
Take some time in the early weeks of school to chat with parents when they drop their children off at your childcare to get a feel for them and their preferences.
Create your lesson plans
Ideally, you know what children should learn this year in your care. You want to take them from point A to point B. Maybe your lesson plan starts with letter recognition and by the end of the school year results in knowing the sounds those letters make.
Give yourself time to plan out activities that build upon one another as you look to keep learning entertaining and interesting for your young students. Creating your lesson plans now will make end-of-the-school-year assessments easier as well because you’ll know what you should be basing those assessments off of as far as learning goals for the year.
Organize the classroom
Summer was about providing unstructured play and freedom for children. But now that you’re headed into the school year, organization and structure become the focus. You’ll want to spend some time before classes begin to create the right setting and spaces for your children to learn.
Have creative art space, quiet reading areas and interactive play zones set within your classroom to encourage different types of learning. This will help you fluidly move through your lesson plans throughout the day.
Plan extracurricular activities
Parents will expect that their children get education, but it’s also nice to plan extracurricular activities that you just can’t learn from a textbook in the classroom. Preschool children need to learn teamwork and problem solving just as much as they do letter and color recognition.
Plan out your fun activities to keep children engaged throughout the day. Try mixing up more structured learning with extracurricular activities that allow the children to burn off some excess energy and express themselves.
Provide clear instruction for parents
Parents probably have a general idea of what their children are learning in school. And yet, it can be hard for them to know how to reinforce with their child what’s being taught in the classroom at home without guidance from your team.
Provide clear instructions for parents to take to help foster ongoing learning with the child.
Open communication channels with parents
As you prepare for the school year, it may be time to retire the paper worksheets you send home for parents and trade them for digital communication through childcare software. You can enable messaging and photo sharing by adding a school management software to your childcare, like iCare Software.
Preparations will help your childcare and its students have a successful year as you ease back into the swing of things.