Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. However, some parents are uncertain or lack confidence in their role as their child’s primary teacher. Hosting planned, playful, and purposeful family events are an excellent way to prepare parents to be successful home educators and engage as partners in their child’s educational support team. This type of active family engagement has been shown to positively impact student achievement levels and educational aspirations.
The Children’s Learning Institute, in partnership with the Children’s Museum of Houston, has created a series of family education events that support family engagement for children in preschool to Grade 1. We recommend planning 30- to 60-minute interactive sessions with families in which educators explain how to extend early learning at home using the linked resources. Most importantly, give families opportunities to practice guiding their child’s learning by setting up hands-on activity stations while educators circulate around the room to give parents guidance and support. This combination of providing information with feedback from teachers builds parents’ competencies and skills for extending learning at home.
These resources are flexible and cover both language and literacy topics as well as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) themes.
Building Trust and Cooperation | Talking Is Teaching | Making Books Come Alive
Playing with Letters and Sounds | Building Your Child’s Vocabulary | Writing Together
What’s the Big Idea? | Let’s Figure It Out | Math Rules!
Show What You Know | Dream It, Build It! | Picture This!
Supporting Sprouts is a series of presentations that can be delivered at family events to increase parent understanding of specific developmental areas important for infants and toddlers. The presentations can be downloaded in PowerPoint format using the links below. Please give these files several minutes to download, as they include multiple videos.
Social and Emotional Learning: Download English Presentation | Download Spanish Presentation | Materials
Language Development: Download English Presentation | Download Spanish Presentation | Materials
Managing Behaviors: Download English Presentation | Download Spanish Presentation | Materials
Early Literacy Development: Download English Presentation | Download Spanish Presentation | Materials
View related programs: Play and Learning Strategies (ePALS) | Strategies for Early Education and Developmental Success (SEEDS)
The checklist helps teachers track key tasks for family event planning starting one month out, as well as recording specific activities and materials needed.
Professional Learning Session: Hosting Family Events
Return to Family Engagement Resources