Once in awhile, it surprises me how close legislators and education leaders can come to “getting it” without really getting it. Take the issue of school readiness. Unfortunately, many of our young people who struggle the most academically have been behind since before their first day of kindergarten. A number of programs, frequently focused on quality daycare or younger start dates for school, have been developed to try to level the playing field, but they rarely seem to address the root problem.
Enter HIPPY, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters. Developed forty years ago in Israel, it is slowly making its way around the world as a successful model of helping prepare at-risk youngsters. It does so not by separating children from their parents so that licensed profesionals have more hours with them, but by teaching parents to teach their own children.
It works this way: “home visitors,” usually young mothers, visit parents weekly with a simple curriculum the parents deliver to their own three, four and five-year-olds.
The free curriculum, which teaches the basic pre-kindergarten skills, takes about 15 minutes a day to deliver. Parents are equipped with everything they need, from advice on area services to books, crayons and scissors. Ottawa Citizen
Fifteen minutes a day of home education apparently goes a long way in preparing a child for school.
Who would have guessed?