Parent with puppet from the workshop
The greatest gift you can give your child after unconditional love is education! This was the opinion of parents in Mfuleni on Saturday morning. But what is education? How can we provide it when we often don't understand what we need to do? What if we can't afford books and materials? These were some of the questions raised as we greeted each other on a Saturday morning.
Starting Chance has been providing training and development to early childhood centres for many years. As part of our programme we have done in depth analysis of key areas which require support and change. In many instances teachers find the concepts of using language to develop reasoning skills, creative problem solving, sequencing, actions and consequence very difficult to grasp. Many of these skills are learned from an early age through exposure to books, reading, story time, fantasy and music. Opportunities for developing these skills have been few and far between and so they find it difficult to share and teach concepts with their children. The knock on effect of this is that children will battle later in their educational journey and ultimately will not reach their potential.
Many parents have said the same thing and so on Saturday 7th September we had our third parent workshop where we offered parents the opportunity to explore story telling through puppets and music. In poor communities, books are a luxury that few can afford, libraries are rarely available and musical instruments are a far flung dream. Our aim through the workshop was to empower parents to utilise simple household items to tell stories, to use recycled materials to make simple puppets and musical instruments and then start to use these things to tell stories. We wanted them to know that everyone can tell a story, develop language and utilise open ended questions to help children to develop the key skills to develop their language to create reasoning and logic.
There was much laughter and fun as parents lost their inhibitions and started experimenting. By the end of the session, stories were being told, music was played and childen were engaged and intrigued. Change starts in the home and if we can encourage parents to read and tell stories we will soon see a changing generation with a brighter future ahead of them.
Happy parents making puppets and instruments