I am beyond grateful for the praise and recommendations given by providers and parents. Mi Families (“my families”) LLC continues to develop more programs based on requests and recommendations. Mi Families continues to offer hands on trainings for providers, parent workshops, family events and youth programs across Michigan. Our youth programs have received the highest ratings for child care and tutoring services.
Today another parent emailed requesting for services after hearing from another that their son went from a reading score of 7 to 19 (out of 20) last semester. I’m trying hard to fit in all requests and tailor each program to meet individual areas of challenges and strengths. Balancing individual and group activities is keeping me busy – but I’m loving watching our programs thrive. Adventure Academy is our youth program for babies through teens, located in Kingsley, Michigan.
Currently we are enrolling tots to pre teens for full day and part time services. Elementary explorers work on core subject matters, while discovery daycare students work on basic skills. Our education through recreation approach teaches through hands on activities. Each child progresses through the activities and reaches goals at their own speed. Although there are times for one-on-one and large group experiences, most programs are small group focused.
Small groups help children focus on mastering goals without the distractions of large group settings, but while still offering peer interactions. Multi-age interactions encourages students to work together in a collaborative environment, learning from one another and building confidence helping each other. Many parents and students have shared how this approach benefited their educational experience. My own children have greatly benefited!
After recognizing that traditional schooling was not the best option for our boys education we brought them home to “homeschool.” We have homeschooled at home, on the road with my husbands filming positions, and through our Adventure Academy program – which was there idea! They love “teaching” little ones, having same aged peers over to “work” with, and learning from older students. They do different subject matters within different peer groups as they are ahead and behind in different areas.
All children grow and develop and learn at different rates. Multi age programming encourages independence and team work through the developmental domains. Some curriculums (like Mother Goose Time) include activities to support all domain areas. Mother Goose Time is developed for preschoolers, but with some creativity you can simplify lessons for those not at the intended level and expand lessons for those above the stated ability.
For example this month all ages are working on a rhyme theme. Mother Goose Time provided a Nursery Rhyme package (many of the pics in this post showcase their materials). Since the other day was GroundHogs day we expanded on the MGT kit with GroundHog poems and activities. Tots colored groundhog pics while listening to a poem, our early learners memorized the groundhog poem, and our elementary students wrote their own poem after researching the holiday and groundhogs.
Children do not jump to the next level based on age, but rather stage. Stage is determined by themselves and their parents. Often little ones want to do what the older students are doing so I allow them to use the materials as well without expectations. Expectations are developed only after setting goals using authentic assessments. What are authentic assessments? Not test scores. Authentic assessments are evaluations of ones ability through observation during genuine moments.
I provide assessments and referrals for children. Observation is not completed over a days period but through months of interactions and use of tools such as ASQ (Ages & Stages Questionnaires®). Sometimes parents in the program will utilize the service, sometimes parents will call just for assessment purposes, other times providers will call asking me to visit their center and help them address some concerns for their students.
Assessments help discover ways that a child learns best, where additional services may help a child with specific needs, and also assessments help to encourage a chid to thrive in areas of talent. If you’d like any information on such assessment practices please email Christi@MiFamilies.com. Feel free to email regarding any of Mi Families programs. Also feel free to check out www.MiFamilies.com for more information or find us on LinkedIN, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube…
Our social media networks are growing as are our programs. More about our growth and the growth of the children in our programs will be discussed in our next article – so subscribe above for future updates!