As I said in yesterdays post, bedtime stories are a big deal in our house. We started off with reading children’s picture books, later came chapter books, and now we like to each take a turn and make up a story and see where it takes us. It is a tradition that only happens about three times a week now because of my crazy schedule, but we all look forward to it. When was the last time you read to your child? Talked to them about how their day at school went? Do you know your child’s teacher? What are some of the things your child struggles with at school?
As a parent, you should know the answers to most of those questions. It is so easy to blame teachers for the type of education that our children our receiving.Yes, it is also true that certain neighborhoods have better public school than others. I can concede to all of those points, HOWEVER, nothing affects a child’s emotional, academic, and overall well-being as much as parental involvement.
There are so many outlying factors that are affecting our children and may be keeping them from progressing academically but we cannot put the blame solely on those factors because PARENTAL involvement can solve so much. It can help a child know that he is loved enough that his parent/s care enough to be concerned about what is going on at school. Parental involvement also demands more of the teachers because if there are issues, those parents are there, wanting conferences and maybe offering to step in and help (alleviating the pressure on some of these overworked teachers).
I can be the first to say that I am not perfect in this area since I drop my children off at 6:30 AM and don’t pick them up until 5 or 6 in the evening. However, I am a very concerned parent, I am constantly emailing their teachers about updates on their progress (thankfully they understand and appreciate my concern). When I pick them up the first thing I ask them is “What did you learn today?”
I have never relied solely on their schools to teach them everything. We go to museums, watch educational documentaries, and we go to the library two or three times a week. Even though I am only supplementing their learning, I want them to know that I take education and learning seriously and expect no less from them. Having high expectations of their academic performance may seem extreme to some, but to me, it just means that I know what they are capable of and I am going to help them get there.
As a teen I would look at the planes going into LAX and wish I could go somewhere, anywhere and since I couldn’t, I escaped into my books. I longed for someone to encourage me to be more, or to tell me that my dreams were attainable. When I was pregnant I vowed that my children would never have to wonder if I was proud of them, that they would always have me cheering them on. They know I am proud of them and I am always quick to high-five their biggest (and even their smallest) achievements.
Take the time to go to your child’s parent/teacher meetings, know when your children will be testing and make sure they eat well and rest, and most importantly make sure they know that you not only care but that you SUPPORT them and that you believe that they can do AMAZING things.
A movement doesn’t have to be big to make a difference. Progress can begin in one household. It can begin with you. It can begin with you investing time and energy in your child. It can begin with one question, one book, one teacher meeting, one family at a time. EDÚCATE!