Resources to add to your knowledge base for your work with children and families.

So many teacher resources are available, yet how do you know where to find the ones that you need?

Whether you are looking for basic theme ideas, ways to enhance a specific theme, or materials needed to implement your ideas, this is where to start. After years of creating thematic lesson plans for before and after school childcare, I have developed a list of favorites where I always turn.

Many of the them started with a need. Originally the need was to find themes that would interest the children. With a prior background in preschool, some of the early themes were, quite frankly, flops. Over time, I was able to find themes that truly captured their imaginations.

After finding attractive themes, the next need was to find appropriate activities to keep the children busy. In the beginning, I used too many "worksheet" type of activities as I tried to move away from the preschool activities in my effort to challenge the children and assist in their learning.

After much trial and error, I finally found a good balance. With themes that intrigued the children, including a well rounded assortment of activities, I found that the children were supplementing their classroom experiences through manipulating the learning materials with a freedom that had been lacking in my earlier attempts. Over time, the children began taking control of their own learning, and I became a facilitator of that learning. As a facilitator, I could pose questions and provide technical assistance when asked. My job was to keep providing challenging materials and ideas for them to explore, and then get out of the way for the learning to happen.

Throughout this process, I found that I was also becoming a resource to the parents. Whether helping a parent advocate for their child, providing insight into parenting strategies, or finding assistance and support for a family life crisis, I needed more than just teacher related resources.

To assist you in developing your own list, begin with the links provided here, and then look to the specific pages below for further information.

Do you suspect that one (or more) of the children might be struggling with a learning disability? Get some very practical information about Dyslexia from my friends at Dyslexia

For more parenting tips to share with your parents, here is an excellent website from my friends at

SafeChildrenUSA was founded by retired law enforcement officers with expertise in Crimes Against Children and Sex Offender Management. They provide free programs to the public for the prevention of child sexual abuse.

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