Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Break + Home Visits

Thank goodness for spring break! The weather is absolutely gorgeous (the high was 80 today- perfect!) and I feel relaxed. It's not often that I feel relaxed or rushed to do something so I'm soaking it up.

One thing that I am doing over break is making a few home visits. Our school encourages them but up to this point I've been too nervous to do them. I went to my first 2 today...alone. It's definitely not ideal that I'm going alone but when there's no one else to go with me, I just have to suck it up. Today was actually the first time I had been around where my students live and it was pretty eye opening. It's easy to see the poverty around the area but I know that it's not going to hold my students back.

Today I learned that one of my student's parent is a published author. His family comes from Cuba and he was in prison for four years because he was preaching Christianity. He wrote all about his experiences from this time. Holy cow! I would have never known this if I hadn't gone over there (and it helps that I'm skilled at Spanglish). Right now it's only available in Spanish but it's going to be translated into English soon. I can't wait to read it and learn more about his life and how it's influenced his family.

To make the home visits as awkward as possible (I'm socially awkward so it doesn't help- ha!) I've been taking a couple of goodies to give to each student. First off- do you have a Savers around you? It's my new favorite place for books! All of their children's books are 69 cents and hardback books are $1.99. Love it! I got all of these books, plus one more (How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell. I adore her and everything she does!) for less than $30.
So each student I'm visiting is getting a book near their level, a sticker book I picked up from Dollar Tree this morning (I'll talk more about this later, I think it'll be really great for vocabulary growth!) and some finger puppets they can make to put on some performances. A lot of my kiddos are ESL students or only speak Spanish at home so I want to encourage as much talking as possible!

I also want to thank Emily from Second Grade Silliness for the Lovely Blog Award. Go follow her if you don't already. I just love reading her stories and I'm glad I found her blog! :)
Do you make home visits? Have any advice? Let me know!


  1. Thank you for the shout out. =) Our school social worker goes on home visits when we need him to and the stories he reports back with are shocking. It just makes us try even harder to provide a positive, loving, and safe environment. Enjoy your spring break!

  2. Hi Elisabeth
    Just found your blog and am your newest follower. So jealous you are on spring break..ours starts on March 26th and we get 2 weeks so I can't wait. Enjoy and I look forward to visiting you more. :o)
    Traditions Laughter and Happily Ever After

  3. Where is Saver? I don't think I have heard of it or seen one?

    1. It's a thrift store, but a really nice one! It's north of the river in Liberty, just opened up a couple months ago.

  4. Came across your blog- love it! Thanks for sharing this experience- it is definitely eye opening to see home lives. How sweet of you to bring the goodies for the kids! They must love you :) Enjoy your spring break!

    The Eager Teacher Blog

  5. Wow, that is so fantastic that you make home visits. I know how important it is, but it can be really intimidating. I did this when I was student teaching and I remember feeling so nervous, but all the families were so honored by my visits and the kids so excited!! It's so great to connect with wonderful teachers across the country. I have nominated you for a Top Ten Award! Please stop by and check it out.
    Surfin' Through Second

  6. Our district 'strongly encourages' home visits. In fact, we get an incentive if we complete them before the end of August. I'm similar to you, though, it seems in the awkward department. I prefer to go with someone (more talkative or outgoing) to reduce the awkwardness, and I always make sure I take something to give the parents (because I think that's less awkward than just showing up at a stranger's house to say hello). Since we do ours at the beginning of the year, I take a letter from me about the classroom expectations.
    You make me wish there was a Savers store nearby. Who couldn't pass up cheap books! I think my classroom library would be out of control. :o)
    Love the picture wall and the book cover walls, by the way.
    Squirrel-Bottom Diaries :o)