ParentChild+ has gone virtual! Normally, Early Literacy Specialists (ELSs) use home visits to model engaging and educational activities for parents and children together while supporting parents and empowering them to help prepare their children for school. Since the COVID-19 stay at home order, families and specialists have been meeting virtually through video calls.
Parents have been delightfully surprised at how well their children have been able to stay focused during these virtual visits. At first the video calls were around ten minutes, but they quickly began to last a full thirty minutes as parents and Early Literacy Specialists realized that they could keep children focused with books, games, songs, arts and crafts, and personalized props and puppets. Children have continued to learn school readiness skills, build relationships with parents, and have social-emotional support.
The child pictured above builds fine motor skills while sorting through a sensory bin made by his mom with rice and things from his home. His ELS does the same on the video with her own bin. They all work together interactively so that he is learning school readiness skills like vocabulary, colors, and counting as he plays.
One young boy (pictured right) asked to read a book to his mom like his ELS does in video calls. He used an easel to hold the book, and a phrase he regularly hears her say, “Okay, let me turn my camera around!” He then used a sticker as his puppet. Puppets are one of the many fun ways his ELS engages him in books and learning.
Athen and his mom (pictured left) laugh and smile while they read a book with his ELS during a video call. He and Mom are strengthening their relationship as he is learning new literacy skills and having fun.