The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE) has created an "LEA Academic Continuity Plan: Home Instruction for Early Learning" including resources to support teachers in working with parents on learning with children at home. We want to create opportunities for all children to continue making developmental and social gains during this time away from in-classroom learning. We encourage parents and caregivers to positively interact with children and make connections that will have a lasting impact. To support parents in working with children, we have shared the Academic Continuity Plan and resources below to support families in building their child’s literacy, math, science, social and emotional skills. We have an opportunity to support every child in being ready to transition successfully to kindergarten and the early elementary years. ADECE support staff will contact parents to determine ways to best support families in maximizing this at-home learning experience.
Is it Developmentally Appropriate?
In early childhood education from birth through 8 years of age, we have a term we use to determine if an adult should do an activity with a child. This term is “developmentally appropriate.” What this term does is it looks at the activity and asks is it appropriate where that child is in development. It is one of the most important topics in early childhood because if activities are too easy a child becomes bored and won’t learn. If an activity is too hard, a child will get frustrated and either get angry or give up and this creates a negative feeling to learning. The magic space is developmentally appropriate because we want the activity to be challenging enough where learning happens, and the brain grows!
As a teacher, we know that if we build too fast, the foundation is weak and learning that comes next will be weak. Therefore, it is so important in the first 8 years of life to understand child development, brain development, and to be aware that many activities look cute but are not appropriate. In this uncertain time, parents feel as though they are being thrust into a teacher’s role and we as teachers want to give you a cheat sheet to help you navigate the thousands of activities that are flooding social media. How do you choose?
One last thing: Many of us are working from home and trying to support our children academically. In the field of early education, we value quality over quantity. When you feel that you must fill your child’s day with activities, remember a high-quality activity that covers multiple academic areas (math language, reading, art) is better than one activity in each spread out over the day. Why? Well kids are amazing little creatures, they learn by doing and they learn as a whole being, they learn better when material is connected and relevant to them. Instead of giving you more activities, the chart below will help you filter the flood of ideas that are drowning you. You choose what is best for your child at their age and their interests. You’ve got this!