Direct teaching is a key component in coaching. Let me share two stories about singing and reading with our little one.
For the past few months, my hubby and I have been caring for my two granddaughters a couple days per week during the Covid-19 pandemic. These days bring back memories of working with little ones and remembering things that helped me during those many years. This newsletter contains another random thought that may help you in your work with young children.
Today’s 3 random thoughts relate to my husband and his interaction with our girls.
- Direct teaching and demonstration are important components of parent coaching.
- Reading every word in a book is not always necessary.
- Using music is a great way to get young children more vocal.
Direct Teaching is a component to coaching –
There are many components to parent coaching. They include direct teaching/demonstration, practice in routines with guidance and feedback, problem solving, and reflection. From my experience, I have seen many early intervention specialists hesitant to fully embrace parent coaching. I have also seen many who have been coaching caregivers but then totally eliminate direct teaching in their home visits. I feel that some have gotten so focused on getting parents involved in intervention that we have forgotten the benefit of sometimes showing a parent a particular skill. Please know that I believe totally in parents having the primary role with their child, but how you approach that goal really depends on many factors and especially what makes a parent feel most comfortable.
People have often told me that you never want the parent to feel that you are better at interacting with their children than they are. I both agree and disagree with this philosophy. There are so many aspects to a parent’s interactions and knowledge of their child that are worlds ahead of what we could possibly know. It is up to us to compliment and make note of those things when we observe them. But I also find that the parent wants you to bring skills to the table that are different than what they know. Parents need to have confidence that you will be the best coach they could ever have. Sometimes parents need to see your skills in action and observe them when interacting with their child. This was very apparent in two situations with my husband and our 19 month old granddaughter this week. Yes, direct teaching is a key component in coaching.
I have to confess that I hadn’t used my recorded songs with my youngest granddaughter until this week. I turned on my Set 1, Imitation Exploration, and attempted to get Little A imitating both gestures and words. She loved these songs and loved doing them with her sister and me. Baby Blowing Bubbles was a huge hit, and she had a great time saying the words, bubbles, baby, and up, up, up. Even when we turned off the song, she was saying the words with me.
My husband watched this interaction. The following day, I noticed him singing the same tune to Little A but with different words. “Grandpa loves baby, baby, baby. Grandpa loves baby. Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Little A loved it, and she started to sing as well. “Bambuh, baby, yeah, yeah, yeah.” She doesn’t speak in phrases yet. This was the first attempt I had noticed where she used phrases.
I talked to my hubby about that lovely interaction, and he said observing my interaction with a song really helped. Direct observation gave him ideas of how to do his own version of a song. My hubby is not a singer, so watching his attempt was delightful. He saw the response Little A gave him, and that continued his delightful singing. Music is magical! Yes, direct teaching is a key component in coaching.
Reading books –
I have used the amazing, Talk With Me book with Little A. She enjoys the activities that go on in the book and loves to imitate the different gestures and words that I model for her. One day, my husband was watching Little A and me have a great time talking about the pictures. Because this book doesn’t have a story line, my husband noticed that we just talked about the pictures and modeled words and gestures in a fun and exciting way. Little A responded very well.
A day later, my husband and Little A were looking at books. He especially liked using my I Love book. Sometimes he read the words exactly and other times he would make comments about the pictures in a fun way. She was so engaged and often responded verbally. I talked to him later about that experience, and he mentioned that watching me use Talk With Me helped him realize that he didn’t need to actually read the words in any book. He realized that you do what keeps a child interactive and engaged. Little A totally responded! Yes, direct teaching is a key component in coaching.
Remember this week to 1. Include direct teaching in your home visits, 2. Use music to get a child’s verbal skills going as well as countless other skills, and 3. Incorporate reading/story time into your home visits and give specific strategies to caregivers on how to interact with a book.
Great Sales on 2 Books and a Song Set –
Stressing the importance of songs and books in a child’s life and the importance of kids and caregivers singing and reading together, we are offering 2 books and 1 song set at a discount for the next two weeks. The books, Talk With Me and I Love are now 20% off when you use the coupon code, Read, at check-out. To receive our Imitation Exploration Song Set 1 for 60% off, use the coupon code, Singwithme, at check-out. This sale continues until August 24, 2020.