When parents and teachers partner, children thrive! This is the core belief that drove Cathryn O’Sullivan, EdM, consultant and developer of the Caribbean Child Development Center, to write the book School-to-Home Connections: Simple Strategies for Early Childhood Educators. During the pandemic, Cathryn saw a real need for simple ways for teachers to communicate tips and strategies to connect parents with their children’s learning, and to be able to stimulate children at home. Read below how her new book addresses this issue so that parents and teachers can work hand-in-hand to support children’s learning and growth!
Hello, I'm Cathryn O'Sullivan, EdM, and I'm the author of School-to-Home Connections: Simple Strategies for Early Childhood Educators. I developed this book during the pandemic, because I was a principal of a fairly new play-based preschool in Kingston, Jamaica. We serve children from babies right up to ages five-plus, and when we had to close suddenly because of the pandemic, parents were at a loss as to what to do or how to properly stimulate their children at home. They were at a loss for how to nurture and care for them, while also facing all of the uncertainty around the pandemic, and this new work-from-home or still go to work situation.
I found it difficult as a principal to find simple tips and strategies and handouts to give to them that they could read and digest in a quick manner. They didn't need any more things on top of their head of course. And I also found it difficult as a principal in general to find simple tangible tips and strategies for early childhood educators who wanted to learn more about play-based methods on the job, or when they had a little bit of time to themselves or during professional development.
So I developed this book as a kind of one-stop shop with tips and strategies for early childhood educators, and reminders of ways that they can implement play and child-centered practices throughout their daily life and environment. But also that would have accompanying handouts that they could then just easily send to parents without having to worry about where to find something so that they could be working together hand-in-hand to support children, both at school and at home.
So this book is designed with simple stand-alone chapters on different topics so that you can kind of pick where you'd like to start, what you'd like to read when, and what's more relevant. You can also decide that this family might need this handout, this family might need another, and decide to do it that way as well.
You can use it for professional development. You can use it in a lot of different ways and it has lots of different topics, including things like stimulating infants and toddlers, STEM, supporting play through an intentional and enriching environment and intentional interactions, and talking with children about difficult situations and topics such as the pandemic.
So I hope that you enjoy reading the book, and thank you again for all that you do. We really all appreciate it.