Parents are their child’s first teachers. Being a parent includes providing instruction for your child on eating, walking, talking, reading, toileting and social skills. Child development is complex. Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) enhances parent and child learning and supports families in their efforts to raise a child. ECFE classes are led by a licensed early childhood teacher and a licensed parent educator. Classes include parent-child play time, time for parents to observe their child in a learning setting and a time for parent only discussion. There are several age based ECFE classes offered to reach all families with effective resources on discipline and developmentally appropriate learning activities.
A toddler’s natural curiosity about how the world works is one of the steps in their learning. “Why?” For parents being able to give clear age appropriate answers is valuable. “Don’t touch. It is hot.”
As children grow they become more interested in playing and learning together. Learning Is Fun is a preschool program for 3 and 4 year olds, which includes a short parent education time. Developing independence, social skills – listening, taking turns, waiting in line can be mastered along with letter identification, understanding that letters form words, enjoyment of reading, counting and colors.
Next in the pre-Kindergarten sequence is School Readiness for children who are 4 and 5 years old. The Pequot Lakes School Readiness classes meet for 6 to 7.5 hours per week for 32 weeks. Students enroll for 1, 2 or 3 days based on the section of their class. The curriculum and assessments from Big Day for Pre-K are Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) approved. The Big Day for Pre-K curriculum developed by Scholastic involves lots of reading activities. The School Readiness program is Four Star Rated by Parent Aware. This is the highest rating and means that trained teachers are providing high quality instruction, assessments and interventions to help each child do their best learning. Students are assessed on geometry (shapes), number sense, patterning and letter identification during the School Readiness program year and as they enter Kindergarten.
Together the early childhood teachers and parents combine their efforts to prepare each child for learning that is at the appropriate level of their development. Being able to recognize letters or numbers needs to be mastered along with self-regulation, inquiry and coordination or manual skills (holding a pencil or pen, cutting with scissors or the ability to catch and throw a ball). Quality early learning experiences such as the education options of Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Learning Is Fun preschool and School Readiness lead to preparation for Kindergarten, also known as school readiness.
Call 218.562.7520 to find out more about these early learning classes or go to district.isd186.org/schools/early-childhood
Pequot Lakes Community Education is also offering a Fours and Fives preschool series of classes at the Crosslake Community School. Call 218.568.9200 to find out more. Classes are starting soon.
Now is the time for you to begin a formal learning process for your preschool aged child. Check out the options and sign up. We are ready to begin the cradle to career learning path with you and your child.
-- Julie Despot, Community Education Director