5 Ways Parents Can Supplement a Daycare Curriculum at Home

A strong curriculum and a focus on developmental progress can be one of the most attractive features of a high-quality daycare program. Parents have the natural desire to give their children a great start in life, which is why daycare programs with a great curriculum are so attractive. Still, even the most comprehensive curriculum only reaches optimal effectiveness when parents take an active role in helping at home. Learning to supplement a daycare curriculum is one of the most powerful ways of helping your child retain new skills while continuing to grow and progress.

What to Look For in a Daycare Curriculum

During infancy and early toddlerhood, most parents simply want their child to have the most attentive and loving care available to them. As your child gets older and begins approaching preschool age, however, the presence of a solid, effective curriculum becomes much more important. Some parents even opt to remove their children from their existing program in order to enroll them in a center where a daycare curriculum is the primary focus.

There are several different popular preschool philosophies, from the Waldorf method to Montessori learning. While the specifics of a daycare curriculum will vary from others in the area depending on the philosophy to which the facility subscribes, there are some universal qualities for which parents should be on the lookout. First, the daycare curriculum should address all areas of childhood development, rather than focusing on a single area. Children should be free to learn through experimentation and exploratory play, and also learn to work together through small group exercises.

Activities to Supplement a Daycare Curriculum

Your child will spend much of the day learning from her teachers and classmates, but this doesn’t mean her education stops when she gets home for the evening. To supplement a daycare curriculum, parents should take an active role in helping their children learn and develop. There are many ways in which a parent can emphasize new lessons and ideas, through basic activities and integrating new concepts with familiar ones.

  1. Reinforce New Lessons – When your child learns a new skill or concept through her daycare curriculum, make a point of reinforcing it through related activities. This will require you to establish a line of communication with teachers and administrators, so you can help to reinforce each day’s lessons at home. If your child’s class worked on letter recognition, look for games and toys which bolster this specific skill. Turn parts of your evening family routine into an opportunity for counting and basic math lessons which supplement the things she’s already learned.

  2. Read Together – The love of books and learning starts early, and it usually begins at home. Make a nightly bedtime story part of the evening ritual, and use this time spent reading to your child as an opportunity to emphasize basic reading skills. Ask your child to identify the letters she knows. Ask questions about illustrations to encourage conversation, and discuss what’s happening in the story to bolster comprehension.

  3. Ask Questions – Reinforce lessons your child has already learned by periodically asking questions about your surroundings. Ask your child to name the shape of a traffic sign, or the color of specific objects. Work questions which are relevant to the day’s lesson into your commute home after picking your child up from daycare.

  4. Turn Chores into Fun Learning Opportunities – Giving your child a short list of basic tasks and chores not only helps to impart a sense of responsibility, but can also be a great way of supplementing a daycare curriculum. Turn the act of putting away toys into a counting game. Use the sorting of laundry as an opportunity to match colors, sizes and shapes.

  5. Do Art Projects – Coloring, painting and drawing are activities which most young children thoroughly enjoy, and are all great ways to help kids learn hand-eye coordination. When your child uses safety scissors to cut out shapes from paper, she’s honing fine motor skills. Clay and play dough also help to improve muscle control. Much of the way children learn at very young ages is through play and exploration, which includes art projects and imaginative play.

Work Closely With Caregivers

In order to accurately and effectively reinforce lessons learned at daycare, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of the center’s lesson plans. Take a moment during pickup to ask teachers what your child’s class worked on that day. Ask for progress reports, and seek honest appraisals of your child’s developmental pace. Your child’s daycare teachers and caregivers can be one of your most valuable sources of information, especially if you’re actively working to establish an open, communicative relationship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.