5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A parent's role in a child's education

ydmama said...
Just curious, does the parent play a very important role once the kid is in school? For us who grow up in other countries, i am afraid that it is not that easy to keep up with the kids on some respect, especially in reading. And i heard that it is a complete different system to learn math here from what we were taught in China. What if we mess the kids up by helping them?

I don't know how well this will answer your questions, but here goes.....

As a matter or personal opinion, I think the parent's involvement in a child's education is important. I think this role often evolves as our children grow, but there is one constant truth: we are our children's first models in life. A parent's attitude about education can certainly inspire a child to be a hard-working student and show him how to take charge of his own educational journey.

Many of my friends are homeschoolers, so I'm sure that influences how I look at my children's education. My children have been homeschooled for preschool and then they will all enter public school for Kindergarten. From this point on, we try to compliment the school curriculum with learning at home. My husband and I are partners with our son's teachers. We communicate with them in order to help make sure he gets as much out of his time at school as possible. When parents and teachers work together to both support and challenge the children, I think that they are more likely to be successful in school.

From my experience with the school system so far, I would say that different families seems to have different levels of involvement with their children's school life. There are some parents who are deeply involved with PTA and are at the school so much that you're not sure if they are there to volunteer or if they are employees. There are usually a handfull of parents on each grade level who are highly involved and volunteer in the classrooms on a pretty regular basis. There are other parents who are only at school for special events like parties or school programs. And then there are the parents you never see.

When it comes to their homework, I'd say that ideally they should be able to do it on their own. Parents should be able to remind them about doing it, help them organize their workspace and their time and then check the work when it's done. There may occasionally be questions, but, especially at the grade school level, homework is mostly about reinforcing what they've been doing in class so they should already have an idea what to do and shouldn't need much help or direction in order to complete it.

When it comes to reading, my son brings home a reading level appropriate book twice a week that he is supposed to read out loud to us. We take the time to listen to him read and we spend time talking about the book.

We do need to let them know the importance of learning good study habits now while the homework isn't that complicated. Hopefully, these habits will carry over to the higher grades when their work will be harder and more time consuming.

I think that one of the most important ways that we, as parents, can show our kids the importance of a good education is to let them see that we are interested in and excited about what they are doing. Ask them questions about their work, praise them for a job well done, and give constructive criticism to help them improve their work. Encourage them to learn more about subjects that excite them. One oher key is helping them connect the things they learn at school to real life situations. (Measuring when cooking or building, talking about history and familiy traditions, looking for shapes and colors in the supermarket, etc.)


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