In today's early childhood programs, there is a growing emphasis on skill-building. Families can become willing partners in providing developmentally appropriate math and science experiences at home. Here are ways to partner with families:
- Through your regular school communication channels - family letters, newsletters, online messages - share information about the math and science activities you are doing in the classroom.
- If family members work in a job related to math and science, ask them to come for a visit to talk about their work.
- Send home directions for making Oobleck, or other cooking activities, so that families can try them out with children.
- Encourage parents to take children on "Shape Hunting Walks." These can be easily done on the way to the supermarket or playground.
- Suggest that letting children help with chores - such as sorting laundry, pairing socks, putting groceries into sets, and sorting silverware - is a great way to reinforce math skills.
- If possible, arrange a school and family trip to a local children's science or discovery museum. Encourage families to visit their local science resources - children's museums, aquariums, parks, science museums, and botanical gardens.
- Give parents some ideas for "bathtub science" - providing measuring cups, funnels, and tubes as bathtub toys. They can also provide a variety of sink and float objects - a small rock, a plastic spoon, and other small and large plastic objects.
- Invite family members into the classroom to participate in activities where extra adults would be helpful.