1. What is your definition of family?
Family is defined by the text as “two or more persons living together and linked for financial or emotional support” (Barbour, Barbour & Scully, 2011). For my purposes family is defined as those with whom I maintain a close bond, whether or not they live with me. For example, I have a brother, who might be defined as :family” as we were raised in the same house, but I also have friends that I consider “family” based on emotional support I derive from their friendship.
2. What is your “family of origin”?
My family of origin consists of my biological father, who died when I was 19 and still a technical resident of the home (a college student), my biological mother, who is still alive, and one brother, approximately two and a half years younger than me.
3. Make a list of the ways your parents were involved in your childcare/school experience.
My parents were involved in my school experience in a very hands-on manner. As I was raised by teachers, my household was one of constant learning and exploration. My parents volunteered as much as possible within the confines of their schedules with work, etc., attending conferences and participating in the PTO of whichever school I was attending. My parents were the primary decision makers regarding my educational experience. I would say that their involvement in my schooling was a combination of all of the above!
With regards to parent involvement in my teaching experience, I have only taught in a once a week Kindermusik setting, and the parents and caregivers have always been very involved with both the children in their own care and those in the class as a whole. I did plan a field trip for one class, and the parents were all in attendance and were involved thoroughly in the experience. Lacking any real first-hand experience in the classroom, I am not as yet able to reflect thoroughly upon this question.
4. How does a family function to support the children’s education?
In order to support the learning experience, a parent or caregiver must be as involved as is possible, given their own scheduling and time constraints. Parent teacher conferences are a fine example of parental involvement, but consistency between classroom and home must be maintained in order to allow for the optimal learning experience. This means that some agreement must be reached between school and home on topics such as reading time, homework assignment and help, and general demeanor and respectful behavior in groups. As regards the early childhood arena, this classroom is often the child’s introduction to school. Without support in the home for the rules and routines in the classroom, a child’s successful matriculation can be in jeopardy.
5. Why is there a strong emphasis to involve families in the schools? Explain it in early childhood context.
As previously stated, the importance of family involvement in the classroom cannot be understated. With family involvement, consistency is...