Our children spend the major part of their day in school under the supervision and guidance of educators. The general assumption we tend to make, is that they are being taught – but how, by whom and what are they being taught- is a question that few can answer honestly.
Being a teaching mom has some advantages and warrants my opinion on a personal and professional level. This is what I try to do on a daily basis with my children because of what I learned over the years. I have seen a vast array of parents from the overly involved to the least concerned. This is by no means an indictment on any parent, because we all have valid reasons for doing what we are doing or not!
The three things I do with my children on a daily basis.
1. Ask about their schoolday.
This is generally an opportunity to encourage communication and get valuable information. It gives them a chance to be heard. Classrooms can get very noisy and busy, and teachers don’t always have the time to give individual attention to each child. The possibility of playing by truant also gets dealt before rearing its head. You get insight into your child’s perception of what constitutes as the ‘best day of school’ other than the ‘last day of school’.
2. Unpack their school bags
Remove everything from their bags. Eliminate the element of surprise by being one step ahead. The purpose is to be vigilant about 3 things – unauthorised items; unreported homework assignments/official notifications and/or anything that raises the red flag. This is the surest method for being on the ball in terms of whether your kid is getting up to mischief or even playing parents and teachers,up against each other.
3. Assist with homework.
This is a task often left to the child/tutor/aftercare teachers. Parental supervision or just regular checks keeps you in the loop with regards to possible problem areas – difficulty with a subject; a strained relationship between the teacher and your child; a learning barrier; and any other challenge you pick up from your child’s understanding of the subject. Write letters to the teacher regarding your concerns and establish a parent-teacher relationship.
These three things could be the ones saving parents from unwanted trouble involving their children and their school time. It can all be done in 30+ minutes thrice a week – but save you a lot of time in losing working hours to attend one-on-one meetings with teachers to discuss issues involving your child.
No parent is perfect, but a little effort can go a long way!