Getting Engagement in Learning from your Children
This is easier when kids are younger because we see our role as being more involved:
- we talk to our children about what happened at school every day
- We talk to our kids teachers
- We are waiting at the school gates to pick our 5 year olds up from school
- We do reading and basic homework at home with our children
- We talk about our kids social interactions and who their friends are
- We know lots of the parents who have kids the same age
A lot of times it seems like our children are more engaged in their learning at the younger age, and it becomes less and less as they get older…
BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO GET WORSE!
At Intermediate, or Secondary schools as our kids become teenagers, there is the thought that:
- it is normal for our kids to NOT talk to us.
- It is normal for boys to grunt, and girls to show attitude when we ask them questions
- It is expected that the teachers DON’T want us involved anymore
It is NOT TRUE.
I am telling you that if you see a decrease in engagement in your child’s learning at any age then actually it’s a little bit YOUR fault. Actually it’s a LOT your fault.
You have become a part of the system that has allowed your children – – to become apathetic about their learning.
– To become lazy in their school interactions
– To become less engaged in learning
I’m not letting teachers, and schools completely off the hook, they have to form relationships with the individual kids too, to create engagement with a teacher, a teacher needs to BE engaging too. A teacher needs to WANT to make connections with each of their students too. So there is work everywhere.
But if you are worried about engagement then YOU as the parent need to get into the schools and form relationships with the teachers as well. If you know each of your kids teachers, and you know the expectations, and everyone is talking to each other then engagement between teacher and parent, and teacher and student, and parent and child, can absolutely happen.
Learning can happen.
I have spent the last two weeks teaching full time. I have absolutely loved being back in the environment of teaching, and it has been wonderful to stretch my skills again, and have conversations with kids and teachers.
But not every child is engaged and I worry somewhat about that.
There is not an age where we suddenly are no longer parents.
There is not a stage where we suddenly lose our role as ‘parents’.
There is never an age when our wisdom and life skills won’t be useful for our children.
I think there are a few things that make our role as parents tricky as our kids get older:
Our child pushing us away
Belief that it is the teachers responsibility
Lack of understanding of the school system
Belief that it’s now the child’s responsibility
If you have younger children then this might feel like it’s a long way off for you.
You might think that this isn’t your problem yet.
But it is.
It needs to start at whatever stage or age your children are at.
If your children are young then YAY for you, because you have the time to practice before lack of engagement starts.
If your children are already having problems with engagement in their learning then YAY for you, because you can still make a difference – no one else will EVER care as much about your child as you. No one else can facilitate engagement like you can.
It’s not easy.
It’s not even hard.
But it takes time and commitment from you.
It takes going to parent/teacher interviews with your children from when the first start school at 5 years until they leave school in their late teens. It should include both parents being engaged in meetings with teachers, not just mums. It takes setting up other times for meetings if the school times don’t fit or even extra meetings JUST BECAUSE!
It takes making small steps TODAY that help you with your child’s learning TODAY.
Maybe you didn’t know all this before.
Maybe you feel triggered by this.
Maybe you feel defensive.
Maybe you never knew this stuff would make a difference.
Maybe you think it’s too late knowing it all now ….
Maybe you can step away from ALL those thoughts, start where you are, wherever you are, and make a small change. Commit to a meeting, an interview, a daily conversation, with your child, or your child’s teacher and turn something around.
Your child may not appreciate you changing the rules on them.
But their teacher will.
Their future self may. And even if they don’t you still have to be the parent and set your child up for success in any way and in every way you know how.
I. Can. Help. You. With. This.
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