“I signed up my son Jaheim for Head Start because I want to make sure he is learning and progressing academically, socially, emotionally and interacting with other children. He goes to Focus HOPE’s Center for Children.
I was pleasantly surprised by the parent involvement. I am the policy council secretary. I get to be involved with everything, the curriculum, different school policies, and it’s kind of fun. It’s work but it can be fun, too!
As a parent you don’t understand what the children are doing in the classroom, what they are learning and how it is done. I was concerned about that, so I attended one of the High Scope curriculum trainings for parents. It taught us about what is being done in the classroom and why they do things the way they do.
This is not a daycare center, the children are being educated but they get to learn together, playfully. One activity at the training that stood out to me was about ‘the apple.’ They showed us a real apple and a picture of an apple. With the picture of an apple, we can teach a child what an apple looks like. With a real apple, we can see what it feels like, we can taste it—if it is sour or sweet, cut it in fours and give one piece away and see how many are left, see the seeds inside and learn what they do. So it may look like the kids are just sitting there eating apples, but that is the point—it is fun, play and learning at the same time.
Parents can also work with the teachers to make individual plans for their children. If you see your child knows their colors and shapes, you can make a plan to start learning the alphabet or something more advanced.”