As an Experience Early Learning Blog Ambassador, we receive the Experience Early Learning preschool curriculum in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. As always, our opinions on amazing things for children are 100% our own. Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best judgement when planning activities for your children.
Today I wanted to share a bit about how Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) is encouraging wonderful conversations between parents and their children.
A few nights ago, as always, I was at my desk when a Mom walked by me holding up her daughters art project for the day from our preschool curriculum along with the “My Creative Mind Daily Note” which is an explanation to parents of what was made that day. I’ve seen them but honestly, I never thought much about them.
She was very excited when she told me that these were really great conversation starters for them and that her daughter was thrilled to tell them all about it. Well, this peaked my interest and the next day I asked her more about it and this is what she said:
Each day I pick my daughter up from PPP and after her enthusiastic greeting of hugs and kisses I always have the same question, "What did you learn today?"
This question has proven to be very difficult for her. All too often I would get the "nothing" response which I certainly knew wasn't true. I see the pictures, read the notifications, and speak with her teachers about all the wonderful things they do to fill their day.
Recently, she has been coming home with an art project that is related to something they learned about that day.
The projects are cute, colorful, and engaging. Not only has she been coming home with the art project, but also an accompanying piece of paper that gives background knowledge on the subject matter the project was based upon and follow up questions to ask your child.
I absolutely love this! Instead of asking her what she learned, I start my conversation with, "I see you learned about ...." and then ask her to tell me more. Our car ride home is filled with fun conversation about the topic.
When she gets stuck or can't remember, I have her hold her project and describe to me how she made it (the process, what materials, etc) and I have the informational paper as back-up as well.
I have very much been enjoying this additional way to connect with her and based upon her detailed and enthusiastic explanation, I can tell she is enjoying it as well.
I was elated to hear that this was an opportunity for her to have a conversation with her daughter. I realize that far too often as parents we try to get information from our children, but it often comes across as, what I have termed, “caveman” talk!
As a Mom of 5 adult children, I often got these half-hearted responses when I asked them questions as they were growing up. (I have 3 sons and a 15-year old grandson who have at times resorted to "caveman" talk).
My children are wonderful conversationalists now, though.
You know what this is—one word answers like "Yup," "Nothing," "No," etc. I love to find things that will help families having conversations and especially about simple things like art projects and this preschool curriculum is accomplishing exactly that.
I was again thrilled a few days later to hear another Mom tell the teacher about her 4-year old and his love of his “messages”. I asked her to also let me know more about this and her response was the following:
When I picked [my son] up from preschool and he told me that he made a fishy in school and there was a message in it’s mouth. I read the message and he told me all about his day.
Then on Thursday when I picked him up after school, he told me he got another message about gorillas. He also told me that they got to make gorilla fur in school and how they did it.
On Friday when I picked him up, he said he got yet another message. We read all the messages and he told me all about what he did those days in school. [My son] always looks forward to new messages to give me from what he learned about in school!
She also told the teacher that he gets so excited to tell his brother all about his messages and projects at school. Again, more conversations are happening at home and this is wonderful!
This started me thinking about everything going home from Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) and maybe what parents can do at home to extend the learning.
There are so many ways that families can use these conversation starters and extend the learning. As these moms found, the drive home is so much more fun!
Families can plan to use time during dinner or clean up to have conversations about projects. Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to learn more about gorillas or sea otters as a family?
All of our parents and teachers are loving the amazing benefits of this preschool curriculum.
Raising children isn’t easy and it’s great to find something that helps!
Make sure that you don’t overlook the Daily Notes that come with Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time)! This is one small but mighty tidbit that certainly has helped these two families grow a bit closer this week.