At the recant girls school annual conference in London a comment was made that many families mapped their child’s schooling on a spreadsheet. This revealed the expenditure and the educational programme the parents planned to meet their child’s education leading up to university.
A laudable approach but somehow misses the point. Firstly, the programme may be centred more on the parent’s ideal of what qualifications are needed rather that the aspirations of the child. The involvement of parent’s is crucial during the 10 – 15 years schooling programme but not just in providing the cash or dictating the subjects to be studied. Whilst qualifications may provide options in adult employment no one can now predict what qualifications will be required in a world that is changing so rapidly. Yet there is a huge benefit in a parent’s involvement in the schooling process. Hands on participation has real meaning here.
Whilst parents endeavour to get children into the best schools this is not always possible. Avoiding a debate about the sad state of a huge proportion of UK schools there is a continuing need for parents to support their child’s schooling through reinforcement activities. Too often the busy lifestyle and working environment is not conducive to a parents involvement, hence the almost complete reliance on a teachers prowess. A little help at home running over the lesson content isn’t as devastating as it sounds. The practise it provides to the child is fundamental to the learning process yet almost impossible to complete in a busy classroom.
This parental involvement also provides a valuable and dynamic insight to their child’s progress. Practice accounts for a learning retention approaching 75 per cent compared to just 50 per cent of what is heard in class. It is far better for a parent to be able to react to the provision of timely tutorial support than any reliance on an end of term or year report.
The parent’s educational spreadsheet needs that additional column; how and when they are going to help with hands on support.