My son and I are involved in a program called Parents as Teachers (PAT). Ours is through the Putnam City School District, but this program is available statewide. This is a FREE (yes, free!) program that really has helped shaped the way I teach my son and interact with him, and allows me to focus on areas with him that will get him ahead of the curve once kindergarten starts.
We have a very nice teacher from the school district, who comes over to our house once a month to play and interact with my son. She evaluates where he is as far as learning and development. She charts his progress and gives me tools that are relevant to his age. This program is for any parent of an infant or toddler who wants to give their child the best chance of being ready for school, by taking the opportunity to start learning at home.
Here is a description of the program, from their national website, www.parentsasteachers.org :
Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a parent education and family support program serving families throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten, usually age 5.
Parents are supported by PAT-certified parent educators trained to translate scientific information on early brain development into specific when, what, how and why advice for families. By understanding what to expect during each stage of development, parents can easily capture the teachable moments in everyday life to enhance their child’s language development, intellectual growth, social development and motor skills.
As a Parents as Teachers family, you receive:
-Personal visits during which your parent educator will share age-appropriate child development and parenting information, help you learn to observe your child, and address your parenting concerns.
-Parent group meetings which are opportunities to share information about parenting issues and child development. Parents learn and support each other, observe their children with other children and practice parenting skills.
-Screenings to assess your child’s overall development as well as health, hearing and vision.
-Resource network that links your family to other community services.
The program is offered throughout school districts in Oklahoma. To find the contact for your district, click here.
I can’t recommend this great program enough. This is a resource that is free and its benefits are priceless.