Parents do not always see things as we–the teacher–do. It is refreshing to have them voice their thoughts on prickly issues that are part and parcel to educating children.
Here’s Sara Stringer’s opinion. She is a former medical and surgical assistant who now does freelance business consulting. She enjoys blogging and helping others. In her spare time (translation: the time spent doing what’s most important), she enjoys soaking up the sunshine with her husband and two kids.
Instilling the Importance in Education
As adults we understand what is so important about going to school and doing the best we can. But sometimes kids just don’t see the point. Some of us are natural scholars and others have to be trained to be so. I have heard time and again that grades don’t count until high school anyway. This just isn’t true.
Sure colleges aren’t looking at what your child does in the 2nd grade, but it’s at a young age they will build the habits that they will carry with them the rest of their lives. Slacking in school is just not an option.
I am not saying that your child has to be the smartest or that learning disabilities aren’t real. The truth is we all have strengths and luckily we are more aware of this than we once were. But a child who has an extremely creative mind still has to learn math. As awful as it may sound, use the subjects they love as collateral for them to do the things that are harder for them.
But possibly what is most important is keeping it honest with your kids. If s/he loves the nurse at the doctors office because she helps and is really nice and your child wants to be like her when s/he grows up, explain the opportunities in healthcare. Let her know academically what that career requires and without doing well in school, s/he may not get to live that dream.
Likewise if Johnny hates school and refuses to do homework because he is going to play professional football, you need to be honest while supportive. Maybe pull up the statistics on how many football players actually make it to the pros. Then show him how many go to the pros without first going to college. Or: Don’t let him play football until he proves he is serious about his education. Right there, you may find out why Johnny hates school: He’s struggling. Sit down with him while he does homework. Teachers may be trying to help, but Johnny is with them for a year only. You have him a lifetime. It is ultimately your responsibility. If you can’t do homework with your kids every night, at least check it. This should continue through middle school–even high school. It’s easy for a child to say they did something, but like telling them to brush their teeth, they don’t always do it. As a parent, it is your job to make sure your children understand the importance of education. If you don’t have a degree, think about getting one. Start with a class or two. Kids will see your actions before they hear your words.
When raising kids, there are a lot of things we do to ensure their safety and growth. We have to look to their future because they aren’t always thinking about that part of their lives. Instilling a love of education at a young age will ensure that as they get older, hard work will be a habit and a thirst for knowledge will come naturally.
If you’d like to share your opinion with my readers–as a parent, a future employer, the guy who owns the house next door to the school–drop me a line at [email protected].
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.