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Learning at Home, PreK–3
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Learning at Home, PreK–3
Homework Activities That Engage Children and Families

Edited by:


October 2009 | 208 pages | Corwin
'This book is a great resource for educators and families and is filled with practical ideas to engage everyone in the fun of learning' - Susan Stewart, Curriculum Consultant, Supervisor, Adjunct Instructor

Stark County Education Service Center, Ashland University

'Wonderful! The author has done an excellent job of providing a wealth of materials for the educator and/or parent, as well as answering some tough questions about home learning for young children' - Ken Klopack, Art and Gifted Educational Consultant, Chicago Public Schools, IL

Create a strong home-school connection through family activities that extend learning!

Because families play a critical role in helping young children develop a strong academic foundation and a love of learning, teachers need to involve caregivers as partners in education and extend learning to the home environment. Learning at Home, PreK–3 helps teachers plan developmentally appropriate, creative homework activities that encourage positive learning experiences and reinforce important home-school connections.

Packed with hundreds of engaging and interesting activities, this resource expands the concept of what constitutes homework and family involvement. Focused mainly on social interactions within the family, these playful, fun activities:

- Relate directly to children's own experiences

- Employ concrete, easily accessible materials

- Include shared reading experiences, family projects, and games

- Integrate developmental and content areas, including language and literacy, mathematics, science, and the creative arts

- Promote literacy learning in homes where English is not the primary language

These tools and strategies help teachers reach out to families and reinforce learning both in school and at home, ensuring that all students have the chance to achieve and become lifelong learners.

 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
 
1. What We Know About Children’s Learning
Learning Principles

 
Early Learning Practices

 
 
2. Involving Families
Family Involvement Matters

 
Making Connections

 
Why Families Don't Get Involved

 
Teachers' and Parents' Viewpoints and Expectations

 
A Multidimensional View of Family Involvement

 
The Importance of Home-Culture Connections

 
What Works

 
 
3. What About Homework?
Benefits and Drawbacks

 
Trends and Issues

 
Responding to Challenges

 
Promising Practices

 
The Bottom Line

 
 
4. Encouraging Learning at Home
What to Consider

 
How to Make It Happen

 
 
5. Language and Literacy Kits
Writing Suitcase

 
Backpack Buddies

 
Puppet Packet

 
Rhythm and Rhyme

 
On the Road

 
Friends and Neighbors

 
All in a Day

 
Opposites

 
I Love Spiders!

 
Sharing Stories

 
Then and Now: African American History

 
Family Pictures / Cuadros de Familia

 
What's in a Name?

 
Legends

 
Grandparents

 
Yum! Yum!

 
Fact or Fiction

 
 
6. Mathematics and Science Kits
Count Up and Count Down

 
Treasure Box Math

 
Measurement and Me

 
Patterns and Symmetry Everywhere

 
Time and Time Again

 
Tangrams

 
Numbers Make Sense

 
Big Numbers

 
Fractions Are Fun

 
It All Adds Up!

 
Adventure Backpack

 
Amazing Magnets

 
My Five Senses

 
Weather

 
Shapes and Shadows

 
Sink and Float

 
Shells

 
Trees

 
Birds

 
Insects and Bugs

 
The Night Sky

 
 
7. Creative Arts Kits
The Music in Me

 
Let's Pretend

 
Dance!

 
Something Beautiful

 
Color My World

 
Let's Get Physical

 
My Crayons Talk

 
Twisting and Turning

 
Imagination Creations

 
Jolly Junk

 
Fiesta!

 
Artists Everywhere!

 
 
8. More Learning Activities: No Materials Required
75 Family Activities

 
Family Fieldtrips

 
 
9. Family Projects
Time Capsule

 
Our Family Cube

 
Timeline

 
All About Me

 
Family Calendar

 
Class Cookbook

 
100-Item Creation

 
Neighborhood Map

 
Here's Where I Live

 
Milk Carton Creations

 
Recycled Junk Sculpture

 
Word Rings

 
Mystery Bag

 
Family Decorate and Dress-Up Projects

 
 
Resources
Family Survey

 
Sample Family Letter 1

 
Sample Family Letter 2

 
Sample Literacy Bag Agreement

 
Poetry Award Cards Sample 1

 
Poetry Award Cards Sample 2

 
Neighborhood Walk Game

 
Making Progress Game

 
Road to Freedom Game

 
Cake Walk / Endureza la Caminata Board Game

 
Calendar Template

 
Family Recipe Form

 
Grand-Person or Grandparent Interview Questions

 
Tangram Pattern

 
Bar Graph Template

 
Bird Puzzle

 
Online Resources

 
 
References

“This book has so many rich choices for families to work together at home. The School Home activities are categorized by academic subject and would be extremely easy for teachers or even an entire elementary school to incorporate as homework practices.”

Stephanie Malin, Instructional Coach
Beaverton School District, OR

“This book is a great resource for educators and families and is filled with practical ideas to engage everyone in the fun of learning.”

Susan Stewart, Curriculum Consultant, Supervisor, Adjunct Instructor
Stark County Education Service Center, Ashland University

“I am going to use this book and these wonderful ideas in writing my own professional goals for next year. The research, ideas, uses, materials are all very appropriate for me as I continue to grow as an experienced teacher who is interested in getting better every year!”

Carol Forrest, Primary Teacher
Nyssa Elementary School, OR

“I loved this book. What a great resource, full of activities and directions for those activities that parents and other caretakers can easily do at home.”

Nadia Mykysey, Educator
Temple University

“Wonderful! The author has done an excellent job of providing a wealth of materials for the educator and/or parent, as well as answering some tough questions about home learning for young children.”

Ken Klopack, Art and Gifted Educational Consultant
Chicago Public Schools, IL

“For young children (and their parents), homework is often a painful, empty experience. Barbour rethinks this age-old task with meaningful and powerful ways parents can joyfully connect with their children with the skills they need for school.”

Steven Hicks, Teacher
The Accelerated School, Los Angeles, CA

“At this critical time in early childhood education, Barbour’s book provides a valuable resource for programs seeking to strengthen ties between home and school. Grounded in the research on play and the benefits of family involvement in the learning process, this book provides a rich menu of ideas and resources that can be easily implemented in any early childhood setting.”

Blanche Desjean-Perrotta, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education
University of Texas at San Antonio

"There is no doubt that connecting with family members is of great benefit to a student’s learning. Barbour presents clear and easy-to-implement strategies for successfully making this connection, with an emphasis on building positive home-school relationships and promoting learning together as an enjoyable experience for everyone involved."

Leah M. Melber, Director of Student and Teacher Programs
Lincoln Park Zoo

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction

Chapter 1


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