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Education Worldwide

Home Instruction for Parents and Pre-School Youngsters (HIPPY)


HIPPY International is a program that aims at making an easier transition from the home environment to school for pre-school children. It is aimed at parents of three, four and five-year olds and is meant to help them strengthen their children at various levels and to prepare them for life during and after school.

In all countries, the worldwide HIPPY programs follow a teaching curriculum adapted to development, with role-play as a teaching method. The teachers are home visitors from the community and are accompanied by a professional coordinator. Apart from the home visits there are also group meetings. A home visitor works typically with 10 to 20 families. A local HIPPY program incorporates a coordinator and 10 to 20 home visitors.

The HIPPY model was selected and further developed in such a way as to involve parents who would otherwise not be involved in the education of their children. HIPPY is open to all parents. HIPPY was mainly conceived with the objective of removing barriers for children, caused by poverty, social isolation and low levels of education of the parents. The program should bring families, organizations and communities closer together.

HIPPY should support parents in being the first teachers of their children. To attain this objective, HIPPY provides parents with the relevant tools and skills, and the necessary self-confidence that they need for working with their children at home. How are these home visits supposed to take place and what tools does the organization provide?

The organization distributes scissors and crayons, as well as books and activity packages to the families. These packages come, as needed, in more than one language for a specific community. They are regularly replaced and adapted to the children’s preferences and to social and technological development and reflect current scientific findings.

The coordinators carry out role-play activities with the families during home visits. The teaching curriculum is primarily cognitive-based and focuses on language development, problem-solving skills, logical thinking and cognitive abilities. The objectives are for the children to develop phonological and phonemic competencies, to learn the letters of the alphabet, to have a relatively broad-based book -knowledge and to gain early writing experience.

In addition, social, emotional and physical skills are developed. The HIPPY teaching curriculum is not designed to make every child a master of every subject, but rather to develop basic skills. The concept incorporates various activities including reading, writing, drawing, listening, speaking, singing and rhyming, playing games, cooking, sawing, forms and colors, puzzles and much more.

HIPPY was started in Israel back in 1969 by Professor Avima Lombard at the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education, The Hebrew University at Jerusalem to meet educational challenges facing Israel’s society with its large immigrant population. Apart from Israel and the USA, the program is now also available in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa. Furthermore, there are HIPPY inspired programs in Denmark, Netherlands and Turkey.