What is the role of parents in contributing to the learning journey?
Parents are obviously very interested in knowing what their children have been learning during their time at nursery. At home, parents would surely be observing the small changes and progress being made by the child, but the learning journeys/journals provide a more detailed insight into the child’s progress. Although it may not always look obvious, a day at the nursery is generally very carefully planned to give a balance of adult-led and child-led activities. Staff take care to adapt the planned activities to reflect an individual child’s particular skills, interests and development needs. This means that the staff constantly need to notice what each child is doing, to record this and to think about what it means and what the next steps should be. This careful observation and planning is visible in the learning journeys.
?The learning journeys are often a one-way flow of information from their nursery, to them, and the parents cannot contribute or feedback as they would like to. Generally, these learning journeys are shared with the parents over just a weekend, giving very little time for the parents to digest the information and to truly appreciate the effort put in by the staff members towards the child’s holistic growth and progress.
In addition, many parents do not understand the development frameworks (such as EYFS) behind these learning journeys, which means when they receive the learning logs there is often little understanding of the journeys carried out.
It’s really helpful for the nursery staff to know what the child has learned at home as they can use this with the child during play and help to reiterate and practise. It’s wonderful for the child to be able to show what they have learned at home too. Parents can also contribute to the framework at home if they wish and help to push the child forward in their own time and way.
eyLog allows the parents to log the child’s progress at home with 360 degree engagement. Perhaps they learned to decorate a pizza, or learned a new word – parents are able to log in from their devices at home and record these just like the way their nursery does. This is real-time so that nursery staff can talk to the child about what they learned and also log further development the next time they are at nursery. Things such as ICT are much easier to be exercised at home than at the nursery. Issues such as selective mutism can also be discovered early through observations from home.
Having the full 360 degree flow of information is paramount for the child’s development and the parent’s understanding of the educational framework and how they can assist.