By TMoM Team Member Dennette Bailey
“My mom throws my papers in the trash; can I just leave my papers here?” This is a question one of the preschoolers in my class asked as they were preparing to take the work they completed that month home. Another child chimed in, “I cannot find my work at my house Mrs. Bailey”.
As a parent myself I am very aware that there is no way a parent can keep every piece of artwork or every piece of practice work to no end. This is especially true if one has multiple children. However, I also understand my preschoolers having a hard time not seeing their work at home after all the time it was proudly displayed at school.
There are a few solutions to this problem. A parent could invest in album books and commit to saving at least one piece of artwork and one piece of practice work a month in the album. This is great to keep and do for the child’s preschool career. Another options is to take pictures of the work and upload and save it digitally. However, both of those don’t allow for the child to see their work in the house. Remember, that constant exposure to seeing one’s work is a motivator and self-esteem builder.
As a teacher I can make suggestions, but I am not in charge of a family ‘s home so I have come up with my own solution that I am hoping others might consider. If someone had asked me for a solution in general I don’t think I could have come up with this idea. But, there is something about my preschool class confiding a problem to me. No matter how funny it might sound or maybe even a little embarrassing for the parent at first, I seem to be able to come up with a solution instantly. That is because I want them to know they can count on me.
So I immediately told the class that from now on we will have a wall for each student. They will take a picture with their art each month before we take it down. This way they and their parents will have the art forever. I know the parents will be happy to have a monthly picture that they can look back on and see their child’s physical growth over the two years they are in preschool. The children loved the idea so much we decided to make picture day with a theme. For example, one month they will dress up or another month all wear the same color to take their picture with their art wall.
I am betting there are some other ideas out there to save children’s work, but I really like this idea. I think it is more likely that students can see the picture because parent can post the picture on their fridge. Or, even in frame in a more formal room so that even visitors to their homes can see them.
One more tidbit about the work your children bring home. It is important not to just look at it and compliment it but to also practice it throughout the month. This helps your child retain whatever they were learning when they did their “work”. For example, if your child brings home a paper with a letter on it and pictures, they have colored that begin with that letter be sure to practice that letter. You can ask them things that start with the letter at home when they are with you in the kitchen or on the car ride, for example.
If they have practiced writing their names or drawing shapes, let them keep doing that work at home. Learning at school is expected but when parents share in that learning process at home. This shows the children they care for, are invested in, and value what is happening in the classroom. The children are more likely to participate in class and even have less behavior issues because they will expect that they will be sharing these same experiences at home.
And parents, don’t worry. While your preschooler will come to school and tell the teacher what you do at home, we are teachers because we appreciate being a team with parents and we will always show them you still love them!