Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home-based, family focused program that helps parents provide educational enrichment for their preschool child. Believing that parents play a critical role in their children's education, the HIPPY program seeks to support those parents who may not feel sufficiently confident to prepare their children for what they consider to be "school knowledge." By supporting parents, HIPPY's primary goal is to increase vulnerable children's success in school and, ultimately, in life.
The HIPPY Curriculum, designed for preschool children ages three, four, and five years old, contains 30 weekly activity packets, nine storybooks and a set of 20 manipulative shapes for each year. In addition to these basic materials, scissors, crayons and paste or glue is provided for each participating family. The program uses trained coordinators and community-based home visitors who go into the home and role-play the activities with the parents and who continue to support each family throughout their participation in the program.
The daily activities, which are developmentally appropriate for children, are written in a clear scripted format that is designed to provide guidance for parents and to ensure a successful learning experience for the parent and child working together in their own home. Just as a well-designed lesson plan for a novice teacher guides the teacher in instructing the children and facilitating the learning process, the HIPPY activities are easy to use and understand. Parents become the facilitator in the learning process between themselves and their child. Parents, who gain confidence through their own participation in the HIPPY program, eventually become comfortable expanding the activities and broadening the learning experiences for their child.
The HIPPY curriculum is primarily cognitive-based, focusing on language development, problem solving, logical thinking and perceptual skills. In addition, the curriculum fosters social/emotional and physical (fine and gross motor skills) development. HIPPY introduces skills and concepts in a progressive manner, first using the physical body, then concrete objects and finally representation of objects in pictures, followed by many opportunities for practice and learning. The HIPPY storybooks bring children's literature into the home, where the books remain permanently. HIPPY provides numerous opportunities for children and parents to discuss the storybooks in varied and increasingly complex ways. Skills and concepts are developed through a variety of activities that involve reading, writing, drawing, listening, talking, singing, playing games, puppetry, cooking, sewing, rhymes, movement, finger-plays, and more. However, HIPPY is not a curriculum of mastery, but rather a curriculum of exposure to skills, concepts, and experiences with books that together constitute "school readiness" for young children.
The storybooks and activity packets are available in both English and Spanish for all ages. The HIPPY curriculum activities are constantly reviewed and updated in order to ensure that the materials are current and relevant for our families.
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