My thoughts this weekend went to how much we assume as parents and therefore take for granted. Although our children are from a different generation, we assume naturally that the same thought processes apply. Admit it, how many times have you said in conversation ‘I was like that when I was his/her age’.
My thing is that I grew up in a very chaotic house with parents who were immigrants. My mother wanted the best for me but did not understand the importance of the educational process and so just sent us out to school every day and smiled with pride as the qualifications rolled back in. In hindsight, it might have been due to her lack of time, she had 5 children, was adapting to a new culture, working and was exhausted. I used to wonder how she did it all; in many ways I still do. This could have contributed to my fiercely independent stance.
Roll forward to 2020, I have an 8-year-old who is quite intuitive and a definite critical thinker so putting my own experience aside, I have done the same thing as my mother! Every week I ask if he has home learning (which is always online) , and then I say something like ‘okay get it done and then you will be free’ and afterwards, ‘well done, now you can play. We get what we have to do completed and then we can have free time’. I would add here that it is usually whilst I am cooking, cleaning and doing other such joyous pastimes.
Yesterday it was the usual routine in as far as the words ‘okay, get it done…….’ He sat there, quietly entering numbers and deleting them. As I noticed, I went over and queried what the problem was as he is very good at maths (mommy teaches maths). I said okay, lets see who can complete it the quickest; he does love a good challenge and especially if I get beaten! His face lit up and he started entering numbers as I sat and worked on my laptop copy beside him. That look on his face was fabulous and especially as he said ‘it was taking a long time until you came and made it fun. I really understood what I needed to do but it was boring before.
My lesson therefore is that no matter what, time spent as parents showing an interest in home learning and adapting it to get interest in it is time well spent. We can’t still merely expect the educational process to produce outcomes, we must be involved in making the building of knowledge, analysis, application and interpretation more interactive. Yes, time is premium for many but in this case, and I don’t agree with this saying often ‘It’s not just the winning, it’s the taking part.’
Jacqueline Gold ©2020: JG Educate The Art and Soul of Teaching and Learning ®