In inclusive classrooms, students with and without differences all learn together. It fosters a sense of belonging and opportunity to accept individual differences. In addition, general education teachers and special education teachers work together to meet the needs of each individual student. This means all students benefit in an inclusive classroom.
The case for creating an inclusive learning environment is clear. It helps children develop positive interaction with their peers, social skills, problem-solving, and respect for each individual’s uniqueness. It also provides opportunities for children to practice acceptance, understanding, and empathy of those with visible and invisible disabilities.
If you’re wondering how you can create an inclusive environment at home too, keep on reading. We don’t have all the answers, so having a diversity and inclusion calendar and curriculum can help educate us and enable us to incorporate it into our homeschool curriculum.
How Parents Can Help Create An Inclusive Environment At Home
Whether you notice or not, parents are their child’s first teachers. Therefore, reading books with diverse characters or stories can play a huge role in a child’s development. Another option is to include as many multicultural examples and materials in your homeschool preschool curriculum.
In addition to being intentionally diverse in your curriculum, celebrate role models, historical periods, and notable diverse figures. This helps students both learn about their own background and about others they may not be familiar with.
As parents, we should be mindful of our biases and reaction to things and ideas that are different. Children are constantly looking up to us, so modeling an inclusive environment and genuinely being open to diversity goes a long way.
Free 2021-2022 Diversity and Inclusion Calendar by First Book Marketplace
First Book Marketplace (FBM) published a free diversity and inclusion calendar for the entire school year! It is intended for classrooms and school communities to keep track of month-long observations and dates of cultural, historical, and inclusive significance. But, we find it is a valuable resource for the homeschool environment as well. Each month on the calendar has activities you can try and additional resources for more learning.
Because the calendar is targeted to all age groups, parents will have to try and find a way to make it age-appropriate. For the early childhood and preschool classrooms, reading books work best. As a follow-up, have open discussions with young children and try to relate it to their experiences. If you’re going to or have used this calendar in your homeschool preschool, let us know how you personalized it in the comments below!