Tools for Life. And now featuring Tools for Life® HomeSTART.
Relationship-building solutions for a modern world.
A partnership in the Tools for Life classroom program between teachers and families is supported by frequent communications from the school, updating parents on classroom learning and suggesting follow-up activities. Families then began to ask us for a step-by-step resource they might use at home.
Supporting the school program, but also acting as a stand-alone program for families, is Tools for Life® HomeSTART, a complete kit of resources for families at home. The Spanish language Kit is titled Comienza en la casa.
Many schools and public agencies that work with schools now offer HomeSTART as a foundation for their parent engagement and parent involvement programs.
Parents and families play a vital role in the social, emotional and mental health development of their children. Their active involvement with their children both at home and with their children’s school is key to their children’s academic success and subsequent success in life.
The Tools for Life classroom program has provided service to thousands of students, in hundreds of classrooms yearly. The program has received 100% satisfactory to highly satisfactory reviews from teachers and administrators every year since its inception.
As a result, parents then began to ask for similar tools that the whole family might utilize around the home. The outcome of that need is a program called Tools for Life HomeSTART.
HomeSTART was designed with both children and adults in mind. We want to ensure that everyone in the home learns to practice the use of a common language and consistent strategies to problem solve, deal with conflict and build strong relationships, peer to peer and peer to adult.
The fundamental relationship skills practiced with HomeSTART form a foundation of skills that all children and parents need in order to create, at home and at school, a positive, cooperative and problem solving learning community.
Social skills intervention programs come and go; some are more effective than others. This program has successfully sustained itself for more than 20 years because of its effectiveness and simplicity. Teachers ask for it, principals search it out for their schools, and parents support it. It is basic, economical and it works.
How do we go about this?
Well, first we address communication: what it means to really listen or pay attention, how it feels to others when we don’t, how our body language gives us clues about how we are feeling and how others are feeling, how to recognize and label those feelings. We want to build ownership of our own feelings, self-understanding and self-regulation skills.
Then we work at recognizing our impact on others, building empathy and understanding of others. We also want to be able to read the body clues and language of others to build communication skills that will prepare us to have difficult conversations with confidence and competence.
We want to be able to express appropriately what we are feeling, why and what our need is and what we would like the other party to do in a rational, non-judgmental way. We need to build the skills to negotiate a compromise and resolve a problem in a systematic, rational, respectful way.
Even young children are able to learn, remember and apply the consistent language and strategies offered in HomeSTART. With these new skills, their self-esteem grows; they become more confident and cooperative, and they will develop peer and adult friendships more easily. Conflict inside and outside the home diminishes.
This Kit is designed to benefit your children but equally important, this program will allow parents to improve their parenting skills, and identify areas in your own interaction with the family where you might improve communication, your own listening skills, and offer positive put-ups.
Families can enjoy less stress by quickly diffusing family conflicts; parents feel more in command of their own emotions and feel more confident as a first class role model for problem solving and communication with their children.
Tools for Life Blog
New Resources Tools for Life is pleased to announce publication of a new inquiry-led, play-based Full Day Kindergarten teaching manual which aligns with recent Ontario Ministry of Education guidelines regarding play-based learning. This Manual was completed in collaboration with content partners from Upper Grand District School Board, Wellington Catholic District School Board, Canadian Mental Health […]
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My 2.5 year old daughter uses Tools for Life at daycare and has learned how to “talk it out” and “say I’m sorry”already. It’s incredible. As a result, I want to incorporate this great tool in our home lives.
“When I attended the Tools for Life workshop, I was amazed at how much my child knew, and how we can use the tools to deal with problems at home.”