All Bellevue College Parent Education programs are online as of March 2021 and until it is safe to meet in-person. (We definitely hope to be in-person for fall 2021.) Here is an overview of what you can expect.
Every program includes great learning opportunities for children:
- Circle time on Zoom: interactive online gatherings for stories, songs, movement, concept learning and social skills practice. These are developmentally appropriate, so are a little different for each age group. For example, for our toddlers, circle time may be 15 – 20 minutes. For older children, circle time may be 30 or 40 minutes and will include interactive activities like show and tell.
- Ideas for hands-on learning activities that are easy for you to provide at home. These may be communicated in circle time or parent ed sessions, or may be shared by email, video, or on Seesaw app. Some teachers may offer supplies for pick-up. Activity ideas may include art experiences, craft projects, sensory play, music, STEM learning, large motor, and fine motor activities. All will be developmentally appropriate and designed to help children learn and develop.
- Guidance on how to best support your child’s learning in these unique times.
Every program also includes great learning opportunities for parents, all on Zoom:
- Parent Education: The instructor shares practical, research-based info on a variety of topics. You’ll be able to ask questions about your unique situation.
- Check-In: A chance to connect with other parents, and give and receive peer support.
- Office hours: Opportunities for small group and one-on-one consultation with experienced educators who can provide information and support with your day-to-day challenges.
- Cooperative preschools also have a monthly business meeting.
Different classes will have different scheduling solutions. Some will offer all Zoom content (circle time, parent ed, and check-in) during the time that class would typically be meeting in-person. Some will separate the children’s class times from parent-focused sessions, sometimes offering parent sessions in the evening. Family Inventors’ Lab offers an asynchronous option, where other than the monthly parent education session on Zoom, all other sessions can be accessed as online videos from class and online instructions for at-home activities.
In the class descriptions for each type of class, you’ll find more detailed information. If you have questions about a specific class, you are welcome to contact the instructor listed on the class schedule for details.
You can join a class partway through the quarter as long as there is space available in the class.
Also, check out this guide to How to Help Your Child Succeed in a Class on Zoom.
What our students say about online classes
We know that some parents might be dubious about an online class, so we wanted to share some reflections from our students who participated in Spring quarter 2020 when we had to make the sudden leap to online learning. Here’s what our students shared with us about what they appreciated about the experience.
- “My daughter loved the songs and little activities. Lots of the messy play activities recommended were big hits and helpful to do on sunny outdoor days as well.”
- “My son really enjoyed the interaction with his classmates, sharing things and events in his life, and participating in online activities.”
- “Seeing the teachers and other children was the highlight. Hearing familiar songs, hearing stories, and getting creative craft ideas were all pluses.”
- “All of the optional craft projects and reading and writing, and arts and crafts were awesome.”
- “My grandchild enjoyed the music time and watching the other children.”
- “Great curriculum implemented every month with books, projects, videos that supplement the theme for the month.”
- “I appreciated that my child had a familiar face to connect with, even if it’s not in person. The teacher really interacted with her and she felt special.”
- “Seeing the other children’s projects and hearing them share, having ‘experiment’ assignments to do at home, connecting with the teachers, hearing the children’s books, singing songs, learning about new things. We used the suggestions from the blog posts for additional info about the subjects each week.”
Parent education and support:
- “Parent education time was a great opportunity to learn about how others were coping with the same problems, [and get] professional advice and direction from our parent educator.”
- “I liked having some structure to my day. When everything shut down, suddenly my day was wide open. It was nice to have something on the calendar to look forward to.”
- “I enjoyed learning new songs, watching my grandson learn songs, and begin to participate. Also the information links were helpful to answer questions or navigate behavior in my grandson.”
- “I appreciated parent education, support from other parents especially during this difficult time, plus the weekly emails with more resources.”
- “I just did parent education, not the kids’ activities, but I loved it! Having [the educator] facilitate, and share her research behind the topics, was amazing! Additionally, I loved spending time with the other parents in our community. I didn’t expect to build a stronger bond with them over zoom, but we did.”
- “I enjoyed being able to stay in touch with other families during this time of isolation. I enjoyed the support, education, and advice from the educator and my peers.”
- [I appreciated] “Connecting with other adults, checking in about my child’s development and strategies to support growth in my child as well as myself as a parent.”
- “We’ve enjoyed the ability to keep the connection with everyone and are thankful for the ideas and resources provided, including parent education.”
Our parent educators and children’s teachers create a positive experience for all families, that is well worth attending, even if we might all wish we could return to our in-person classrooms. Having a supportive community will help to carry us all through this time together.
Last Updated March 4, 2021