From an environmental perspective, I try to print out very few articles that I read when I am crawling the Internet. But there are some that I find and I know instantly that I need to print them out for future reference.
The article Degrees of separation from The Age on 4th February, fitted swiftly into this category. The author Elisabeth Tarica notes down each stage in the educational system, has expert’s advice on what the role of the parent should be for this stage and outlines the impact parental involvement has.
The common theme for each stage is that research shows that the greater involvement and interest from parents, the more successful the child will be. Psychologist Evelyn Field sums it up this way:
“We see this huge divide between kids who get all this encouragement and those who get none. Your average child will do far better in an environment where learning is valued.”
I like to think that I naturally take an active interest in the kids education, but this provided for me a great refresher to me as why I must continue with this. I also must continue not only whilst they are in kinder and primary school, but all the way through to university if they choose to go there.
I have noted, what for me was the stand out quote for each section:
“It’s not about teaching the child formally to read and write but it’s about them having literacy as a really enjoyable part of their lives,”
Associate Professor Kay Margetts of Melbourne University.
“It is so incredibly powerful to be interested in them. When they are young they lap it all up but as they get older they think it’s boring so you drop it for the time being and find another way in.” He suggests keeping a timetable on the fridge that can be referred to each night. “That way you can say ‘What did you do in art?’, ‘Can I help you with your homework?’, ‘Do you need any resources?’, ‘Please ask me if you get stuck’.”
Fred Ackerman, president of the Victorian Principals Association.
(If you would like a template for a timetable, see my previous post on a timetable for the kids. )
“One of the strongest predictors of how well teenagers do (at school) is the level of monitoring their parents do. It’s easy to get in a situation of premature withdrawal of monitoring and we think that could put kids at risk.”
Warren Cann, Parenting Research Centre.
It is essential for parents to maintain an interest in their child’s experience and act on signs of distress, says Monash University’s director of health and well being, Sam Jacob. “Keeping lines of communication open through free-flowing discussion is important during this time of change,” she says.
Although years away from these last couple of stages, it has been important for me to realise that I will still have a role to play. And with this much notice, I can PLAN for it as well!!!!!