National Parents as Teachers Day

Parents, we ARE (or at least should be) our children’s FIRST teachers. November 8, 2012, is designated by Congress as “National Parents as Teachers Day,” recognizing the role that parents plays in the development of a child. Sounds like homeschooling, doesn’t it?

However, in this case the resolution is specifically commending an organization called Parents as Teachers which offers services and support to parents of young children – from pregnancy until the child enters kindergarten – to empower parents to give their child the best possible start in life. Hmm… isn’t that what the extended family is supposed to do?

The Parents as Teachers model has four primary goals:

  1. Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices.
  2. Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues.
  3. Prevent child abuse and neglect.
  4. Increase children’s school readiness and school success.

The Parents as Teachers National Center develops curricula, trains early childhood professionals, and certifies parent educators to work with parents to provide them with parenting support and information on their developing child, raising awareness of the importance of enhancing school readiness during the critical, formative years of life.

Families who enroll in the program can attend group meetings with other parents, receive periodic child screenings for health, vision, hearing and overall development, and get referrals to a network of community resources. Home visitation is a key component of the Parents as Teachers model. Regular visits are conducted to check up on the child and parent. Again… isn’t that what a grandmother or favorite aunt should be doing?

Notable Points:

  1. Parents as Teachers has one of only nine home visiting models approved by the federal government through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
  2. Parents as Teachers has received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program.
  3. Parents as Teachers is often sponsored by local school districts.

Sorry, but the idea of government involvement in one’s personal family life makes me feel uncomfortable. The Parents as Teachers program may be beneficial for high-risk families, or those who literally have no relatives to count on. But there is nothing like having the support of a loving extended family for raising a child. Another option would be to turn to your local church family if you have no nearby relatives of your own.

As parents, we naturally want what is best for our children because we love them and have a personal interest in their lives. You don’t have to be an expert in early childhood education to know that children thrive in an environment of safety and security, surrounded by people who love and care about them. Home is the perfect place! Every day is another opportunity to instill a love for learning that will last a lifetime.

Anyone who observes young children will see that they are constantly learning. They are naturally inquisitive and curious about everything, and they are intensely interested in exploring the world around them. The home provides a convenient, integrated learning environment. All you have to do is spend plenty of time with them and give them lots of love, and the learning will automatically occur.

We also know that God has given us the duty for the proper upbringing of our children, including their education. From the moment our babies are born we are on a journey to teach them. We train them to walk, to talk, to say please and thank you, etc. So why should the “school” ages be any different? Now we teach them to read, write, study, be good citizens, etc.

I can support and reinforce the efforts of teachers in certain subjects, hire tutors to fill in “learning gaps,” and consider the advice of experienced educators. But NO ONE can tell me that they know my children best and know the best means of educating MY children! That’s another thing that bugs me – teachers always say how important parental involvement is in a child’s education – and yet they frown on homeschooling, which is the ULTIMATE example of parental involvement in education!

Are you concerned about parental rights, government intrusion, and the fundamental liberty of parents to make decisions for their child’s best interest? Click here: http://www.parentalrights.org

Looking for preschool resources? Click here: http://www.knowledgehouse.info/grade_preschool.html

Need homeschooling helps? Click here: http://www.knowledgehouse.info/hsinfo.html

Would you like some free early learning curriculum, no strings attached? Click here: http://www.jumpstart.com/teachers/curriculum

Personal Recommendations:

Get Ready to Learn, by Nancy Champion Chupp – This is a step-by-step learning program for prekindergarten children. The practical, easy-to-implement activities in this book will help you teach your child a solid base of skills. The book suggests using typical household items in activities that are already part of your daily routine. Each concept is presented many times to ensure that your child masters it. The book contains 11 weeks of activities, with several mental and physical activities for each day of the week.

Preschool ABC series, by Rod & Staff Publishers. (Adventures with Books, Bible Pictures to Color, Bible Stories to Read, Counting with Numbers, Do it Carefully, Everywhere We Go, Finding the Answers.) Click here to read my complete review.

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