It's Exceptional Children's Week, and we are spotlighting Mrs. Iva Floyd with some self-contained classroom teacher tips for parents today! Read on to hear from Mrs. Floyd:
I have worked in a self-contained class at Center Elementary School for the past 10 years. I have had the distinct pleasure to work with my students and their families for multiple years at a time before they transition to middle school. Over this time, I’ve learned ways to help my families support their children. Below are a few ideas:
Read, read, read - Read to your child! Read picture books. Read chapter books. Literacy is such a huge benefit to all families. It fosters vocabulary and togetherness as a family. It promotes life-long learning. Picture books aren’t just for younger children, and chapter books aren’t just for older ones. Everyone can benefit from reading these types of books.
Vocabulary - Vocabulary is another important aspect of literacy. By reading to your child, you enrich their vocabulary, even if they cannot express it verbally. Talk to your child as you go about your day together. If your child is young, point out the different things you see on your trips into town. If your child is older, tell them the items on your to-do list.
Routines and schedules - Never underestimate the importance and value of a good routine and schedule. We all thrive in environments where we know what to expect. Our children are the same. There is comfort in certain routines. These include morning routines, evening routines, bathroom routines, and free-time routines. As you help your child navigate his or her day, schedules can help ease anxiety and curb problem behaviors.
Visuals - Visuals tie into all of the above bullet points. Talk to your child’s teacher about what visual supports would be helpful in supporting your child at home. Does he or she need a visual schedule of what to do in the morning before the bus comes? Do they need a list of tasks to do when completing a chore (taking out the trash, doing the dishes, etc.)? Do they need help transitioning from task to task or schedule to schedule? All of these can be supported with visuals you and your child’s teacher can help create. School staff can assist you in ways to use them at home, too.
Enjoy your child - Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy your child. They are wonderful, unique, and bring joy to those around them. While the days can get tedious at times, know that Ware County provides a vast array of support for your child (and you!). Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or parent mentor for programs and other resources. Your child is special, and we are blessed to have them in Ware County.