Learning at Home, PreK-3: Homework Activities That Engage Children and Families

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Create a strong home-school connection through family activities that extend learning!

Packed with hundreds of engaging activities, this unique resource helps teachers plan developmentally appropriate, creative homework assignments that encourage positive learning experiences and reinforce home-school connections. Focusing on social interactions within the family, these fun, playful activities:

  • Relate directly to children’s own experiences
  • Employ concrete, easily accessible materials
  • Include shared reading experiences, family projects, and games
  • Integrate developmental and content areas, including language and literacy, mathematics, science, and the creative arts
  • Promote literacy learning in homes where English is not the primary language

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Editorial Reviews

Stephanie Malin
“This book has so many rich choices for families to work together at home. The School Home activities are categorized by academic subject and would be extremely easy for teachers or even an entire elementary school to incorporate as homework practices.”
Susan Stewart
“This book is a great resource for educators and families and is filled with practical ideas to engage everyone in the fun of learning.”
Carol Forrest
“I am going to use this book and these wonderful ideas in writing my own professional goals for next year. The research, ideas, uses, materials are all very appropriate for me as I continue to grow as an experienced teacher who is interested in getting better every year!”
Nadia Mykysey
“I loved this book. What a great resource, full of activities and directions for those activities that parents and other caretakers can easily do at home.”
Ken Klopack
“Wonderful! The author has done an excellent job of providing a wealth of materials for the educator and/or parent, as well as answering some tough questions about home learning for young children.”
Steven Hicks
“For young children (and their parents), homework is often a painful, empty experience. Barbour rethinks this age-old task with meaningful and powerful ways parents can joyfully connect with their children with the skills they need for school.”
Blanche Desjean-Perrotta
“At this critical time in early childhood education, Barbour’s book provides a valuable resource for programs seeking to strengthen ties between home and school. Grounded in the research on play and the benefits of family involvement in the learning process, this book provides a rich menu of ideas and resources that can be easily implemented in any early childhood setting.”
Leah M. Melber
"There is no doubt that connecting with family members is of great benefit to a student’s learning. Barbour presents clear and easy-to-implement strategies for successfully making this connection, with an emphasis on building positive home-school relationships and promoting learning together as an enjoyable experience for everyone involved."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412963275
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann C. Barbour is professor emerita of early childhood education at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). A former preschool and elementary teacher, she has over 30 years’ experience in the field of early education. At CSULA, she teaches courses in best practices and trends and issues in early education, the role of play in learning, and school-family partnerships. She has coauthored two books: Prop Box Play: 50 Themes to Inspire Dramatic Play and Portfolio Assessment: A Handbook for Preschool and Elementary Teachers, as well as numerous articles on early childhood education.

Barbour has worked with teachers, district administrators, parent representatives, and her own students in learning-at-home projects based on materials children take home from school. She also helped develop the Peabody Award-winning television series, A Place of Our Own and Los Niños en Su Casa, and was content advisor for each of the 325 episodes produced in English and in Spanish. These series are designed to help parents and caregivers nurture the development and enrich the learning experiences of preschool-age children. They are broadcast daily on public television stations throughout the nation.

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Table of Contents

About the Author
1. What We Know About Children’s Learning
Learning Principles
Early Learning Practices
2. Involving Families
Family Involvement Matters
Making Connections
Why Families Don't Get Involved
Teachers' and Parents' Viewpoints and Expectations
A Multidimensional View of Family Involvement
The Importance of Home-Culture Connections
What Works
3. What About Homework?
Benefits and Drawbacks
Trends and Issues
Responding to Challenges
Promising Practices
The Bottom Line
4. Encouraging Learning at Home
What to Consider
How to Make It Happen
5. Language and Literacy Kits
Writing Suitcase
Backpack Buddies
Puppet Packet
Rhythm and Rhyme
On the Road
Friends and Neighbors
All in a Day
I Love Spiders!
Sharing Stories
Then and Now: African American History
Family Pictures / Cuadros de Familia
What's in a Name?
Yum! Yum!
Fact or Fiction
6. Mathematics and Science Kits
Count Up and Count Down
Treasure Box Math
Measurement and Me
Patterns and Symmetry Everywhere
Time and Time Again
Numbers Make Sense
Big Numbers
Fractions Are Fun
It All Adds Up!
Adventure Backpack
Amazing Magnets
My Five Senses
Shapes and Shadows
Sink and Float
Insects and Bugs
The Night Sky
7. Creative Arts Kits
The Music in Me
Let's Pretend
Something Beautiful
Color My World
Let's Get Physical
My Crayons Talk
Twisting and Turning
Imagination Creations
Jolly Junk
Artists Everywhere!
8. More Learning Activities: No Materials Required
75 Family Activities
Family Fieldtrips
9. Family Projects
Time Capsule
Our Family Cube
All About Me
Family Calendar
Class Cookbook
100-Item Creation
Neighborhood Map
Here's Where I Live
Milk Carton Creations
Recycled Junk Sculpture
Word Rings
Mystery Bag
Family Decorate and Dress-Up Projects
Family Survey
Sample Family Letter 1
Sample Family Letter 2
Sample Literacy Bag Agreement
Poetry Award Cards Sample 1
Poetry Award Cards Sample 2
Neighborhood Walk Game
Making Progress Game
Road to Freedom Game
Cake Walk / Endureza la Caminata Board Game
Calendar Template
Family Recipe Form
Grand-Person or Grandparent Interview Questions
Tangram Pattern
Bar Graph Template
Bird Puzzle
Online Resources

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