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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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Family to Family: Remaking Family Learning
Margaret Caspe

two young girls searching reaching the hands into the sand while studying ecology

In solidarity with my daughters who are finishing up their school reports describing their summer adventures, I thought I’d share mine. The last week of August, my family and I headed to Long Beach Island (LBI), New Jersey for what turned out to be much more than a day at the beach. Through a program called Passport to LBI we explored the history and ecology of the island: we used a seine, or small net, to catch minnows and crabs in the bay, held baby clams, visited the island museum to see a schoolhouse from 1915, and counted together as we climbed over 200 steps the top of a lighthouse. The best part–it was all free!

As we drove back home, my daughters were clamoring to learn more. They were curious about the world in new and exciting ways. My oldest daughter, inspired by the schoolhouse, wanted to jump back into reading the Little House on the Prairie books. My youngest daughter started using vocabulary and descriptive language we’d never heard from her before. Their newly-gained background knowledge was immense. This got me thinking – why should these activities only be available to me and my family? Why just on vacation? Why not everyone, everywhere, all the time? Continue reading on Remake Learning...

Margaret Caspe is a senior research analyst at Harvard Family Research Project, where she has been working in various capacities since 2000. Her research focuses on how families, early childhood programs, schools and communities support children’s learning.

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