Dear Berry Patch Families,
“What did you do at school today?”
If this is an everyday conversation at your home, your child is on the right track! The Berry Patch School’s play-based program incorporates intentional and systematic learning experiences. Learning objectives are taught in direct instructional methods with the teacher leading the learning. Guided play and free play are used to practice and learn skills and concepts. Specific outcomes are associated with both free play (independent) and guided play (adult coached) activities in the classroom and relate to the overall learning objective.
Four characteristics define a comprehensive play program.
1. Children are actively taking part in the play activity rather than taking passive roles.
2. The play experiences are meaningful, relating to learner outcomes.
3. Engaging play stations and activities encourage children to be attentive.
4. Socially interactive play allows children to work with others, improving relational skills.
The curriculum at The Berry Patch is theme based. Teachers carefully plan designated learning outcomes through the lens of the monthly theme. Watch for themes listed on your child’s classroom newsletter and calendar. Expand the theme at home to allow your child to continue to practice and experiment.
Extend the learning experiences at home through playtime. It’s hard to resist the urge to fill up the family calendar with activities and classes for children. Instead, choose to play with your children. Play is a child’s work. Allow time and freedom for children to explore, even if it gets a little messy. The learning curve is tremendous.
Keep in mind, friends and extended family members offer a bonus in play experiences! A new resource is now available for families, Faithful Grandparenting: Practical Ideas for Connecting the Generations. I would like to personally invite you and your family to the Faithful Grandparenting Book Launch Event, November 14 from 9:00 AM-12:30 PM at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina. My co-author, Carol Olsen, is a grandmother of eight. I was blessed with an incredible grandma. Carol and I have collected over 250 ideas from seasoned seniors for grandparents to connect with their grands. Please join us!
I highly recommend Faithful Grandparenting: Practical Ideas for Connecting Generations. This book is a must for all grandparents … whether you are seasoned or just beginning this rich adventure. Becky and Carol have done a marvelous job expressing the joy of grandparenting with lots of practical tips and fun ideas.
-Berrie Lounsberry, founder of The Berry Patch School, grandmother of 8
It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Becky Danielson, M.Ed.
Licensed Parent & Family Educator
Click on the links for more on this topic:
Why is PLAY Important for Your Child’s Development?
Executive Function is Enhanced Through Play
Readiness: Not a State of Knowledge, but a State of Mind NAEYC