Friday, August 17, 2007

In the Mayberry Times this past week a question was
asked of parents, "What do you think is the best way
for parents to be involved in their child's school?"

The answers given were of the typical, "Get to know the
teachers...get your kids involved in sports," type answers.

Admittedly, Mayberrians consider our family as rather
radical for bucking the system and homeschooling. Nobody,
that I can remember, has ever asked why we have chosen to
do so. Perhaps they aren't wanting to be subjected to
a LONG lecture on politics, religion, social issues and
learning abilities.

As a gal with an extremely non-confrontist personality I
have never tried to initiate such conversations. I figured
I'd just leave well enough alone.

But I had to respond to this particular "Street Talk" in the
Mayberry Times. Even approached from the direction of one
who went to government schools her whole "educational" life I
can offer some far better advice than that.

I offer a personal story.

My own Mother was a baby when she married and had her first
baby 10 months later. Baby number two came 12 months after
the first. Mom then went on to have two more of us. She
had not been around children much but she knew one thing. She
wanted to give us a gift. That gift was to be able to read.
It really doesn't matter what system she used, but that woman
taught all four of her children, even my handicapped sister,
to read before they entered kindergarten.

I knew, from this, that by teaching my own children to read I
was offering them the world on a silver platter. Once they
could read nothing need hold them back.

My Father wanted us to learn math. Car trips, when other families
would play games or sing, saw us having math drills. I remember
being astonished in 7th grade math that my fellow students just
couldn't understand the concept of a square number. It was a
part of the fabric of my life. Dad would bring home a math book
from the drugstore and I'd think the candyman had arrived. Granted
getting a thrill from doing seatwork in the summer is a very "girl"
thing. My boys would rather have participated in sword fighting
until they actually drew blood, but the girl in the family is known
for saying, "Where's my math book?" even in mid-July.

And so, my answer to the question of how parents can be involved in
their children's school is simple. Teach them. Whether they go
to government, private or homeschool, it is your responsibility,
not someone else's to see that they learn.

Billy, middle son in the family, wants to be able to speak Spanish
on a pretty high level the next time we go to Mexico. So he is
studying Spanish. I mentioned this to someone the other day and
they said to me, "Oh, is he taking a class?"

"No," I said, "He is not taking a class; he is learning Spanish."
Those do not need to be mutually exclusive, but they often are.

He know how to read ergo he knows how to learn. The whole world
is before him on a silver platter. All he needs is the "want to".


LeftCoastOnlooker said...

I couldn't agree more!
Children learn best from their families

Sunydazy said...

Excellent post! I sometimes am at a loss of words to explain this to others.