Even the most dedicated and well-resourced parent needs support in the difficult task of raising a child. Parents in low-income communities have limited access to information about child development that could provide the early stimulation and learning opportunities that make a big difference. In addition, parents with low education levels often believe that they should play only a limited role in their child’s formal education, thus missing out on critical opportunities to reinforce learning in the home and support academic success.
Parent involvement is a key component of successful education programs. Children with parents who are highly invested in their education tend to have more positive attitudes about school and have greater opportunities to continue their classroom learning at home. Our parent education programs encourage parents to be active partners in the education of their child. We focus on specific strategies that parents can use to support child development, create a positive home environment and reinforce what their child is learning at school. Parent education is a core feature of our Montessori Early Childhood Education and Young Stars At-Risk Youth Programs. Regular workshops and special events keep parents connected with the school. In addition, Montessori parents must complete several hours of volunteer service to the school each month.
DREAM has recently developed a School for Parents, targeting mothers of two year olds who will eventually enroll in our early childhood education programs. These interactive parent education sessions help stimulate the early learning and development of future Montessori students, and allow parents to practice techniques that foster healthy parent-child relationships and effective communication. Home visits by trained professionals ensure that parents are able to successfully implement at home what they learned in the program.
Parent education programs ensure that children receive age-appropriate development and stimulation opportunities in a positive home environment, enabling them to arrive at school ready to learn and take full advantage of DREAM’s high quality educational programs.
- Parents acquire knowledge of child development theory as well as safe and healthy practices to apply in the home.
- Parents strengthen family communication and relationships to create a positive home environment.
- Parents reinforce the connection between DREAM schools and local communities through early and long-term parent involvement.