View Full Version : Giving parents learning ideas?

06-10-2015, 06:42 PM
Ok, so I feel totally uncomfortable about this. I'm not a trained teacher. I am happy to share my observations and talk about what we can do for next steps but do I really have to give parents learning ideas to do with their child at home? I would imagine they would be very annoyed if I did this? Anyone..? X

06-10-2015, 07:04 PM
I find an easy way is in a newsletter- I write/photo something I have done like make playdough, include the recipe and write something like how it is a fun thing to do with your child. That way they can take it or leave it and do not feel like they are being preached to.
I put in newsletters about family days out we have had, or trips to local places, to show parents what they could be doing/places to go.
I'd put in a newsletter about the local toy library and how to join. Again, gentle hints.

Or I'd say in daily diary, child has really been enjoying the jigsaws here, have you got any like that at home? You are welcome to borrow one over the weekend.
Or I'd write- child has been pointing to the street signs looking for their initial letter, have you tried that with them? It is a great way to help them learn their letter. So again, not telling them, just suggesting.

06-10-2015, 07:56 PM
There are quite a few good books to use to get started. Which is handy for unimaginative people like me.

Fun Start (June Oberlander) has an activity idea for each week from ages 0-5

The 100 Ideas series from Continuum Publishing

I tend to photocopy an activity and clip it to my 'home activity suggestion' page in the child's diary (which includes a feedback section for the parent to let me know how it went. This can then be transcribed into the child's learning journal.

You could even use ideas from childcare magazines or a CBeebies comic. The latter will frequently tie in with a child's current interests, such as Thomas the Tank Engine addiction, etc.

06-10-2015, 08:34 PM
So, all my parents but one are Early years experienced teachers....I still share blogs and articles I have found interesting, but difficult to advise... And don't feel the need to...Ofsted perfectly happy with this.
I do however meet half termly to discuss where we think LO's are and next steps set...joint decision with parents obs and mine.

07-10-2015, 07:07 AM
I put lots of links on my newsletter - worded as if to say I found this when I was looking for xy or z and really like it so wanted to share ...

I think my parents do value my suggestions . Don't put yourself down. If you see yourself as 'just a childminder' then others will too.

2 of my current children have ey teacher parents. They are actually the most interested in my activities and suggestions. After all , just like us , theyre always on the look out for new ideas. In fact the foundation class now has a whole range of story stones following one of my ideas for home...

07-10-2015, 08:30 AM
This may sound really silly but one way I found to break the ice on this one was to ask them something. So, for example, one of my LOs came with some tiny really sweet clementines for his lunch. So I asked Mum where she bought them from. From then on, it felt like we were sharing ideas equally. So I shared an article I found interesting about pointing, as LO was constantly pointing at cars. I also come at it from the angle of 'I found this really interesting and thought you might too' so there's the option for them to say actual that's not something I'm interested in.

07-10-2015, 09:19 AM
Thanks guys, putting it in a newsletter is a great idea. I decided to do a blog rather than newsletters so guess I could blog ideas instead?

07-10-2015, 09:34 AM
I think we can over analyse things. Try not to always think of it in terms of abc and 123 type of learning. It could be something simple (but very relevant) like "I think he's ready to use a fork mealtimes now, I'm going to introduce it here, does he use one at home?" Hint hint! One of my little ones recently wasn't very sensible around dogs and so I had to talk to mum about it and what I was doing to address the issue and she was very appreciative. With another mindee I mentioned that we were learning about road safety when out and about but were focusing on driveways and that perhaps xxx would want to show you how sensible he is next time you are out on a walk. Potty training, manners (how is your six year old now by the way), washing hands before lunch, zipping up own coat, using an unlidded cup...all of these things will fit into the development matters somewhere. Have faith in yourself and your knowledge of the child and don't look at it like you have to lecture the parents (not that you were), just sharing information/tips in a positive way. You can always use 'what your child should be doing when' or the eyfs etc to back you up or give you ideas.

07-10-2015, 09:42 AM
Interesting question Mumofone...are you asking to give parents 'learning ideas' or 'share activities' to encourage learning at home ...and keep the children occupied ...or extend and connect learning from your setting to home and viceversa?

As you have a child yourself what would you like the setting to give you as ideas when your child will eventually attend one?
As said below it is rather easy to look for ideas, they can be found in activities books or tV

I am starting from the point that we are told 'parents are the child's first and foremost educator' so we can share ideas which they bring from home and we give to them....but we have to work in partnership

There was an interesting discussion elsewhere about this very subject recently but no one felt uncomfortable or unable to share activities regardless of parental experience or otherwise.
All did it via verbal communication not newsletters though.

The DfE and Ofsted are constantly telling us to tell parents what to do with their children...how to feed them, brush their teeth, keep them healthy, keep them moving etc etc

so I can understand providers feel uneasy as it is rather a top down solution and very patronising, especially of Ofsted, to assume that parents are bad and do not know how to teach their children even though methods can vary.

The best quote would be from the EPPE research...something like...parents are important for what they do not who they are.
This is just a summary of EPPE:

This by the DfE will be of help: Providers Influence on the Home Learning Environment which the DfE refers to.


I like the idea of children bringing resources such as toys from home and taking my resources home such as the mentioned puzzled or books.

07-10-2015, 12:29 PM
Thanks guys, putting it in a newsletter is a great idea. I decided to do a blog rather than newsletters so guess I could blog ideas instead?

My 'newsletter' is a secure invite-only Blog.

12-10-2015, 12:45 PM
My 'newsletter' is a secure invite-only Blog.

If you were mentioning your newsletter or blog in your SEF moggy, would you put the password in it so your inspector could go and take a look before coming out to inspect?

12-10-2015, 01:02 PM
If you were mentioning your newsletter or blog in your SEF moggy, would you put the password in it so your inspector could go and take a look before coming out to inspect?

No, but I would have it open when inspector comes. I would not give out a password to anyone, even an inspector (although Blogger doesn't work on passwords, for secure, private Blogs you invite people using an email address and then they accept the invite and use their own Google log-in to access it).