Does your district, or position, require you to do home visits throughout the school year? Most of the time, these are done in the early grades like Pre-K before the start of the year.
It gives the teachers an opportunity to meet the parents, family members, and the child in their typical, everyday environment.
Here are some tips for having a successful home visit.
Tips for a Successful Home Visit
- If your student has a file, look it over first and bring it with you in case the parents have any questions. This will also give you the opportunity to review things such as goals, services, accommodations, etc. with the parent so that everyone is on the same page and understanding of what the child will be receiving from their IEP this school year.
- Come prepared with a list of questions about your students – these could be generic questions such as favorite color, food, tv show and/or character, food allergies, food preferences, pets, friends, family members, etc. – anything that can help you get to know the child. When the parent tells you about their child, most of the time these questions may be answered, but if one doesn’t then at least you have this available as a reminder for any questions you may still have.
- If it’s the beginning of the school year, talk with the parents/families about what they did over the summer. What did their child enjoy doing? Were there any new concerns the parents have? Did the child make any new growth or accomplish anything new over the summer?
- Talk to the parents about what they can do to support the success of their child at home as well. We all know that in order for a child to be successful, a student has to be able to take what they learn at school and transfer it to their home lives as well, but some parents may not know the best ways to help foster that learning.
- If your district allows, bring some activities for the students to do, especially if that activity can give you some information about the skills the students may or may not need to work on – such as fine motor tasks, colors, shapes, etc. If they can, let them choose what activities they want to complete. This will help give you a good idea on what the child prefers to do and how they make choices. You can also do these activities with the child to start building that relationship with him/her and let them become familiar with you before the first day of school.
- Should you bring a gift? Well, that depends on a few things. For starters, does your district allow it? While some districts might not require it, it’s better to check and make sure you are allowed to before getting in trouble. If you can, and want to, what is something you could find that is both age appropriate and budget friendly? Some ideas could be puzzles, books, crayons/coloring books, fidget toys, etc.
What are some things that you and/or your district do to ensure a successful home visit? Let us know in the comments.