This information is for schools, teachers, and volunteers to provide support to low-literacy parents..
While children are undergoing a transition in learning from 'school mode to Home mode' parents too are in transition mode from being parents to coaches. Parents, irrespective of their educational background can be excellent coaches for their children, by being involved in their childrens' activities, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, nurturing values and virtues, and helping to remove any barriers to effective learning. It is not necessary that parents solve all their children's problems, parents having a positive approach and arriving at solutions constructively helps their children greatly. Sometimes just being there is enough for children to feel safe and motivated
Need for an anchor: Parents with low/no literacy need more support as they may feel under equipped in being able to provide academic support to their children. An anchor in the form of a champion parent, teacher or volunteer, preferably someone they can relate to, really helps them in getting on demand support.
Role of Parents: The role parents can play varies based on how old the student is. Parents can play a larger role in student learning in early grades but as kids grow older parental over sight and check in from time to time.
Along with activities for knowledge, activities, and content around parenting and managing children's emotional needs really helps parents understand what will help their child learn.
Most resources are centred around how to give instructions to children on the activities and fewer resources on parenting or parent motivation.
Picture book reading leading to conversations relating to their own
Audio stories may be shared on radios
Pre-recorded messages(IVRS) can be sent to patients with questions they can ask children to improve their oral expression skills.
Illiterate parents may be overly sensitive about not being able to read and write. In addition, such parents are more frequently members of the lower socio economic level and may have language and/or other differences including differences in cultural background. In order not to single out illiterate parents, the teacher needs to schedule parent meetings which focus on ways not only to nurture literacy, but also to promote its value. Presentations should be positive and enjoyable sessions so that the parents are willing to make concerted efforts to return again and again.
Home visitation is an especially important component of a literacy promotion program with these parents. Such parents often avoid the classroom and parent meetings so the teacher must reach out to them via home visitation. During a home visit, the teacher should attempt to model behaviors that the parent can easily imitate and perform with a child. For example, the teacher may demonstrate a story reading from a picture book. The book can be left with the family to be returned later. Volunteers can visit homes daily and facilitate in using the devices(opening of TV during learning slots, using an app, online assessments, etc.)
Parents usually build their confidence through peer support and consistent appreciation. Whatsapp peer groups where they can share videos of activities or some loops with teacher phone calls in the evening can help parents build belief that they can do this. Also, champions/teachers sharing student progress also helps them build belief that their child is learning.
for parents and students of class 5-12 grades to provide academic, socio-emotional support as per needs. These call centres can serve as an anchor for parents struggling with literacy.
Content considerations: Simple, concise content using materials easily available at home and sharing it in the form of activity vs telling them today we will learn addition really helps in making the content relatable, easy to execute, and boost their confidence
Wordless picture books: Another parent session could focus upon the uses of wordless picture books, by having the parent tell the child the story and later having the child retell the story to the parent. Too often, early childhood and primary grade teachers emphasize narrative books and overlook content area books. There are several good picture books that depict simple scientific and social studies concepts that require little or no reading. Chose books that present concepts on an uncomplicated level. The illustrations provide stimulation for parents and children to discuss the actions taking place
Storytelling: Parents may feel intimidated by books, but they should be encouraged to share stories with their children. While they may have a limited repertoire of fairy and folktales, they are familiar with stories of their own family. Thus the family history can be shared by telling stories during family time or while driving to the grocery store. Children can gain new insights into their own relatives by hearing stories about a grandparent's first job and how grandma and grandpa met. Family traditions can also be shared through such storytelling.
Homework: For homework teachers should assign enriching tasks – not activities that ask students to finish incomplete classwork, use materials that are not available. Instead, school-related homework should foster a life of learning and build a bridge between the classroom and life at home. Teachers can encourage children to read nursery rhymes or songbooks already made familiar at school. Suggest family projects like making finger hand puppets, count fruits/vegetables at home.
Learning videos. Sharing videos through WhatsApp. Parents should be encouraged to scan QR codes in the Textbooks to explore a wide repository of video content that children can watch at home. Alternatively, other sources like videos on Key Education Foundation that has been crafted for the use of parents can be contextualised and shared
Source : Ministry of Education
Last Modified : 10/6/2023
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