Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Home Visits: Part One

Every year, our school has Report Card Pick-up days at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarter.  These are basically parent conference days.  We (my coworker and I) have decided that since we already meet with the parents for the students' IEPs once a year, that we will utilize the Fall Report Card Pick-Up day to do home visits. For our home visits, we go to each child's house for 20-30 minutes.  We discuss school progress as well as needs in the home.  We often bring materials that have been successful at school for behavior, bring homework tasks for the parents to utilize, bring materials to set-up routines in the home, as well as provide materials for parents to utilize in the community (SEE Tomorrow's Post for Examples).

I have found these home visits to be very enlightening. So often, we make parents come into schools and have them sit around while a team of people tries to tell them all about THEIR child.  Going into the homes allows the parents to be the expert and makes us a guest...and let me tell you, I have learned SO MUCH about my students from doing home visits!

There are a couple families who prefer not to have a home visit, and we are very respectful of this.  We allow them to schedule a different time to meet at the school so that we can discuss their child's progress.  But most of our families are thrilled and jump at the opportunity to have a home visit.

Even though the parents may be thrilled, some of my students really struggle with having their teacher at their house (so many of my kids think I only belong at school...I swear I think they believe I even live and sleep there).  I have one student who this will be his 3rd home visit.  The first year, he hid under a blanket the entire time I was there, but would bring his toys over to me to show me.  The second year, he waited in the window the entire day for me to get there.  He played the piano for me and talked to me non-stop (with no blanket!).  Now this year, as soon as the month switched to November, he couldn't stop talking about me coming to his house.  His mom had to drag him to school yesterday because he thought we were coming to his house this Tuesday so he didn't want to leave home (we are actually going next Tuesday).  Not only does this become a fun thing for the kids, but it emphasizes the home-school connection and aids in the generalization of skills across environments.  

So, here is how we organize it:

First, we send home our note explaining the home visit with sign-up times.  

We provide space for parents to write down any concerns they want addressed in the home visit.

We also include a space for parents to indicate they would prefer a school visit. 
Next, we map out all the addresses and look at the parents' chosen times to create our schedule.

Then, we send home a follow up note letting parents know a time range we will be coming to their house based on the schedule we create.  We remind them that we may be running late as we have a lot of houses to get to.  We try and keep them posted the day of by text message if we are running more than 30 minutes behind.

Tomorrow, I will be posting photos of some home materials I have created.

No comments:

Post a Comment