Connecting homes and schools: A Photo Elicitation Study

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Jasmine Brown


Researchers have highlighted the importance of school readiness
for low-income, African-American children who are disproportionately
at risk for being unready for the transition to kindergarten.
School readiness entails key reading, writing, and language
skills that are associated with school success. However,
preschools, elementary schools, and families frequently understand
school readiness differently. Research further documents
that children perform better in school when there is consistency
in beliefs and practices between families and schools. Quality
learning opportunities in the home and school promote school
readiness and children fare better in kindergarten when collaborations
are forged between the home and the school during the
preschool process. A critical piece of this collaboration is understanding
low-income, African-American parents’ views of school
readiness competencies and abilities and related parenting practices.
To address this gap in the field, we used a resilience
framework and photo elicitation interviews with low-income, African-
American mothers of preschoolers. Mothers documented
the various home-based activities they engaged in to promote
their children’s school readiness. Home-based activities focused
on multiple literacy skills and included multiple family members.
These findings suggest the ways that schools can partner with
families that are culturally-sensitive and enhance the early educational
success of children.

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