Mi Families LLC (“my families”) provides programs for families and those who work with families. Trainings are facilitated for providers, parent workshops are offered, family events are planned, and youth services are developed – with the help of our family focused team. Our team understands that every family is different and has different needs and goals, and different individuals making up their family unit. The youngest individuals are just as valued as the oldest – and they help decide what programs we should offer for youth.
As the team leader / director of Mi Families I asked tots to teens what programs they needed and developed Adventure Academy – an education through recreation program for child care and tutoring services. Adventure Academy is a multi-age classroom where students learn and play together. Students learn to be a part of a team and value each other. Student’s learn that everyone has individual goals, strengths and struggles. Older students build confidence assisting younger peers, while young children are encouraged to develop new skills.
Because our program is stage (not age) focused – we re visit basic skills continually giving opportunities to conquer such skills and providing opportunities for observation and assessments. As discussed in previous articles assessments are offered via parent request. Assessments are authentic and not test based. Assessments are facilitated through records, anecdotes, case studies, charting, check lists… Assessments include observation through event samples, frequency records, rating scales, running records, spot checks… Assessments take time.
Tests and first impressions are often used through other programs to label a child’s strengths and weaknesses. Believing that these do not offer accurate results each child here is assessed through individual profiles over time. Each child builds a profile of their daily work and daily notes are included regarding their day’s behavior, eating habits, naps, playtimes, etc. Extra paper is provided for two-way communication with the parents and the binder is sent home daily for their review and may include reminders that such assessments are available and other resources are provided.
Each child that attends is offered individual resources to meet their particular needs and encourage their strengths and interests. Resources include curriculum options. Each child learns differently so our library is stocked with top rated learning programs for infant through elementary development. One curriculum we use is Mother Goose Time. MGT is a theme based monthly program (note MGT supply pics) that can be simplified for young learners, expanded on for older students, and used as intended for our preschoolers.
This month’s theme is “At the Pond” and we have been learning about how the world will begin changing and growing as winter melts into spring. Frogs have been a fun focus from tadpoles to leaping through their own development. We have also been learning about other things waking from hibernation and migration back to the pond… and of course the fish who have been freezing all winter! We added a new friend to our program this week. Our new pet fish who the students all want to help care for.
Each student take turns helping with the fish and other to-do’s during our day, such as helping prepare meals and adding dates to the calendar. As we add dates we have been adding lots of birthdays to our calendar and noting each child’s individual growth and development. We cheer each other on for conquering new tasks and even trying new healthy foods – noting their physical growth. Kids love to cheer for each other and encourage one another. Kids love to help lesson plan with ideas for helping their friends learn new things.
We’ll continue using our pond theme for learning all subject matters and keep busy inside and outside as spring approaches. Our spring and summer semesters are filling up quickly with child care and tutor time students, but some part time spaces remain if you know a child near Kingsley, Michigan who’d like to join in the adventure! Feel free to email Christi@MiFamilies.com to enroll or to ask questions regarding this program or our other programs. Find out what our programs are up to next by subscribing above and network with us on social media!