Play School At Home
Play school at home has triple advantages.
It helps the child, parents and schoolteachers because it makes learning fun. It is a bonding agent for the family and also bridges the gap between the sitting room and the classroom.
Way, way, way back, home and school had a seamless connection when people lived where their grandparents were born, shared the same language, shared jobs like fishing or farming, one religion, values such as respect for older people and culture.
Not anymore. Families move around a lot now because of relatively cheaper means of transport.
Your great grandparents might have come to North America by steamship, but you can fly to California in the morning for a business meeting and be back in New York for dinner. Wars, famine, factories closing down, and other reasons also force families to move.
That migration punches holes in the knowledge process or what is known as education. Play school can remedy that.
In fact, it is a good educational tool period, not just for children whose parents changed jobs and cities or emigrated, but also for children who still live in places where they were born, as well.
Children who regularly ‘play’ hospital, bank, chemist, scientist, president etc. are in a better position to answer the tried and tested question teachers ask: Who can tell me?
Teachers use that for different scenarios. For example: Who can tell me the name of the building that keeps money?
The expected answer is banks, but teachers will not be surprised to get the mall, because they see their parents using ATM’s.
Teachers like dividing children into groups. Let’s say they are playing a bank. There will be the information desk, security, bank tellers, home loan officers and business loans.
Parents can use the same method at home using friends, uncles, aunts and cousins. Children will have a load of fun because it amuses them to see adults pretending to be something they are not. They crack up when they see their mother or father pretending to be crying.
Playing Bank At Home
Age is an important factor in effective play school at home. The rule of thumb would be playing with children who still like to be around their parents and cousins, a precious time that should be appreciated before the internet and the street take over.
Most teachers prepare for their lessons. Children should also prepare for the play school at home, like doing some research on how banks work.
- · Take your kids to at least two banks. Ask them to read aloud the signs they see.
- · Most things are electronic now so ask bank managers for old withdrawal and deposit slips.
- · Spread paper money on a table: $10, $20, $50 etc.
- · Get the paper in your printer since you don’t use it anymore. Cut it up and let kids make up some artwork that looks like dollars.
- · Dad, who is this man on dollars? Great! Now we are getting somewhere.
- · Use cardboard boxes to divide the house into various sections of the bank.
- · Children should write the signs, TELLERS, HOME LOANS etc. so that you can correct their spelling. Yes, everything is electronic now, but the school still wants to teach reading and writing.
- · Invite friends or in-laws for brunch to take part in the play school at home as bank customers. Call it a play and eat brunch.
Despite Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, there are still families that watch television news.
How about teaching children how broadcast and print news are gathered? I'm confident they will enjoy being sent out for stories, coming back to write them and give them to the producer, operate the camera and being anchors.
It is play yes, but they will learn that the most important people on television are producers and other people behind the camera.
A local television station or the Journalism Faculty in the university in your province will surely agree to a visit.
Airports and Pilots
A fact-finding mission is needed before children can ‘play’ the airport. Airports must have public relations or communication departments. Find one in your hometown and make inquiries.
Children are very good PR for business, so your request to come and visit the airport when it’s not busy might be granted. Explain to the communication director that you want more than just sitting in the cockpit.
How does the airport work? Who are all the other workers that ensure safe flying? Once the visit is granted, tell your children to listen carefully because you will play the airport at home.
Children do not sit still. They don't want to be indoors. They don't like going back to the car after a day in the park, because they know it's time to go back home.
They interrupt parents when they are working at their computers of checking messages on their phones because children are children and want to play. Use this stage in their development to prepare them for what they will find in the classroom.
An important element in play school at home is parents’ joy in seeing their children’s intelligence, their capacity to come up with effective ways of conducting the playing exercise.
The more play school they have at home, the more confidence they will have to be leaders in school activities and their spelling will also improve.