Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Teacher - just one of the roles of a mom
Through the mistakes and successes year by year, I got one through till graduation with even a year and a half of community college under his belt before he went off into the big wide world to find his own direction. He seems bright, well read and capable, so I suppose I can chalk it down to a success, though in retrospect I can see how I could have done even better.
One problem I see is that many mothers and even school teachers never learned to enjoy the process of learning. They don't like to read, they don't enjoy correcting their mistakes or learning new vocabulary. When it comes time to helping their children learn, they already have a negative attitude in their minds that school is a drag, which naturally spills over to their kids. That's right, even teachers! Go figure...
Even if your child is not a homeschooler, the job of educating him or her lies squarely on your shoulders - not the school. It's up to you that he does more than get his work done, but that he understands and appreciates it. Of course he may be more talented in one subject over another, but you are the only one who can help him appreciate the value of them all. Sometimes the time-consuming effort of you sitting down with him to talk him through every step of his homework is an investment that will reap life-long rewards. Naturally you don't want him depending on you for this all the way through high school, but there are times when close, one-on-one care is exactly the motivation that he needs.
When children are feeling stressed out, are struggling with inner problems of insecurity or confusion, no matter how smart they are, they cannot focus their attention on simple school work. Little ones are so easily coaxed out of this with the wise direction of parents who can calm that confusion. The older they get, the tougher. You have to transmit a love of learning to them that they will pick up and build upon, even when they're not doing traditional school activities. The question is, are you the cause of those inner struggles they have?
You can spark that sense of discovery and fun in your daily relationship with them - when they need to help you make a budget for the groceries, figure out how much they can save to buy that special toy, enjoy the history of the town where you live as you pass by famous landmarks, and so much more. Pick up on the simple questions they ask, like "Where do clouds come from?" Right there you have a mini science class ready to be taught on the spot. "Why do dogs howl?" Pull out your computer, type your key words into your handy Google search engine, and class has begun. As they have to face the more mundane class work that is required of them, these moments of learning with you will color all the rest with a more pleasant relaxed feel.
Believe it or not, even you will start to love learning too.