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August 27, 2015
Attending to Children's Year-Round Learning
M. Elena Lopez
The annual back-to-school ritual is in full swing. Businesses are busy marketing clothes, school supplies, and easy-to-pack lunches. Media are increasing coverage about the topic. Websites are offering tips to families about the transition of preschoolers to school, what to ask teachers, and how to help children thrive in school. While all these mark a welcome return to formal education, learning does not begin and end with the school calendar.
Learning happens throughout the year, in many places and at many times. This reality forces us to reimagine how we approach family engagement. An NBC News Education Nation poll found that that 60% of Hispanic parents, 52% of Black parents, and 40% of White parents wish they could be more involved in their children’s education. Although parents have many opportunities to interact with their children’s learning through routine home activities, after school and summer programs, playground and soccer games, and the like, they may not be aware of their powerful educational roles in these settings if engagement continues to be identified only with formal schooling. Continue reading on Phi Delta Kappan...
M. Elena Lopez is associate director of Harvard Family Research Project. Lopez' previously wrote Kappan article "Engage families for anywhere, anytime learning" Phi Delta Kappan, April 2015 (Vol. 96, No. 7) pp. 14-19