Sharing….

Kriti our PTA parent shared in a group message” Teachers all over the world now are investing their time and often compromising on their priorities for your child’s literacy and development “. All responded with appreciation

Running and heading schools, as I am, my continual ambition is to knit the parent school community in a way where both staff and parents internalise the feeling of being stakeholders and each others support system in all that affects the development of the children. Over the years, instead of bridging this gap there is an alienation between school and parent community and both organisations function with barriers between them which works negatively for our children. My wish list consists of a rewind in time where things were less complicated and a bond between parent and school was more.

Sharing a read from a fellow blogger wherein both parents and teachers could work in tandem.

Making This Thing Work-
mimionlife

Posted on June 2, 2019

A letter which your children’s teacher left unsent ….

Now, there are a lot of things for ME to do. Classroom management, curriculum choices… I could drown in all the thinking I need to do to prepare for next fall.

But the truth is, to make this thing work… The parent has some work to do as well.

My biggest struggle was dealing with unmotivated, disruptive learners.

I can’t help but wonder, though, what parents are expecting out of this system. I just want to take a moment to empower the parents for a bit – YOU are in charge of homeschooling your family. I know that feels like I’m dumping a burden on you (sorry to bust your bubble but that burden is already there) but I’m saying this to give you the courage and strength to make this work! Part-time classroom learning is meant to be the best of both worlds; distributing the weight of the education evenly between you and educational support, both you and me in partnership with your so that the student gets a great school experience and a great HOME experience.

The HOME experience falls entirely on you. At a minimum, I need parents to state the expectations for homework and enforce them. At most, our children would thrive if you captured our classroom experience and built on it.

Subject teachers only meet two days a week for one hour and fifteen minutes (per subject). It is not a sufficient year-round school program without homework. Beyond the homework there is so much you can do that only you can do: Read aloud. Field trips. Movies or documentaries. Cooking projects. Interviews. Once your child is home, how well this takes off is up to you!

I’m willing to work with anyone through anything except a bad attitude! So don’t be afraid to take charge. If there’s too much writing, use “talk to text” and type up the homework assignments. Ask if the child can do half the problems if it’s taking them longer than expected to complete at home. Draw instead of write if inspiration hits that way. And if you want your child to do extra credit, assign it yourself! At home, you’re the teacher.

More on home activities….

Yesterday My 12-year-old granddaughter returned from school in a contrary mood and when asked, her reply was that she had a humongous amount of Science homework to do and she was stressed. On breaking it down further I understood that the teacher had assigned a home task to identify themselves as a human “Cell” and to write her CV accompanied by a 3D model. She seemed more stressed as she was going to get graded on this home assignment.

The starting point was the assignment excited me. I thank the teacher for having done that. Interest and challenge lit my eyes. The thought of being a cell and writing a CV was unusual for me . I sat grandot down and spoke excitedly of this cell: its address, DOB, appearance, location – moving on to its work experience and its recommendations. This only took approximately 2 minutes as grandot had vanished as I went back to my machine and I assumed she had lost interest.

She returned in flat 30 minutes with a well typed out  CV of her “cell” in her Mac, accompanied by pictures. Her essay was complete. Yes, it was almost brilliant. Did it have all the elements I had suggested? Not really. I read and appreciated the CV without asking her to add my inputs and without helping her to improve the essay. I let go of my ego. I held myself back in helping, assisting, guiding her further. I was firm about drawing my line of control.

I asked her why had she been making all the fuss earlier? Her reply was that my talk motivated her and got her mind all filled with creativity so she got excited and interested in her task and completed it without much effort.  My ego was saved. I looked at her wonderingly, remembering that she had run away after 2 minutes of hearing me and what possibly could have inspired her. These mysteries will always remain.

Yes, with a little more of guidance the marks would improve but hey what about her

•    Initiative

•    Independent writing

•    Brand of creativity

•    Self-respect

•    Sense of achievement

•    Self-sufficiency skills

•    Problem-solving skills

The above life skills learned by her independent work yesterday will further her development and will stay with her when the memory of that cell will not. The decision is yours. Standing top of the class during exams or standing in the top five of the class and compromising that sought after number 1 rank position to become a lifelong achiever.

There you are, moms … I can’t resist my uncalled for advice or to make it politically correct may I use the word “My recommendation”.

Just rev up the engine and move away and do not give unwanted feedback – not even recommendations:] It is another story that, when I wanted to help her to make the 3 D model [ as I had studied art long time ago] she refused and went on to make it herself and between us, it was horrible. Having been an artist myself, when she came to show it to me [ with a small face] I did take up some paper, scissors, and clay and gave my last finish to it. It still looked unconvincing.

However, each of you will have a different take on this read but this is the way I lead My life as a mom “Started them off in the race …and withdrew to stand and watch from the wayside, poised to jump in and give a helping hand, if required, similar to when you teach your kid to swim.” However, let us appreciate that though each parent and parenting is different all of us do what we assume is best for our own child. Let us just ensure that our assumptions are built on informed foundations. “Keep the fire of knowledge burning within them.”

Never too young to learn about finances

This Sunday morning as I browsed through the Singapore newspaper a read caught my eye “Never too young to learn about finances.” It corresponded with my search for “To do’s” for kids & parents over summer vacations. This is a unique one for most of you. Sharing with you few excerpts which are self-explanatory and will ideate and motivate you.

 “Experts say parents can lay the ground work by starting to educate children from the ages 12 to 16 on how to save and what investing means” As we move further the read takes you on a trip on how similar activities can be done with your 4-year-old too. A head of wealth at HSBC in Singapore says “The concept of money management can be introduced once a child is able to count. Parents should start with the concept of savings, progressing to impart money management skills.”

Savings begining with a fixed pocket money with bonus at festivals and birthdays and perhaps earnings from doing chores. Students spend money in expenditure like entertainment and shopping.

  • Savings
  • Bonus
  • Earnings
  • Expenditure

Add above to your child’s word list. They now enter the world of final

To keep the conversation going, the senior investment strategist says “It is important to educate on the importance of saving for future needs.

  • Parents could teach children simple tips such as comparing prices before making a purchase”
  • Trips to banks, ATMs or markets are a good way to help understand cost versus value; currencies and denominations; saving versus spending
  • Involve them when talking about financial matters, such as buying property or a new home. Parents can discuss the difference between freehold,999-year and 99 –year leaseholds, home loans and how they work.
  • Invite them to fill details of your cheque/check book. Show them how to cancel a cheque/check.
  • Playing a board game like “monopoly” is a must
  • Help them study bills
  • Being transparent about costs, like your vacation for instance can help offset talk on money management and savings.
  • Share with them the cost of education breaking it into cost of uniforms, stationary, food etc.
  • Move to the micro level of what the budget of your home& value of your car and major expenses.
  • Children will soon move from the bedroom piggy bank to opening a bank account at the age of 18. Even if it is a little they can experience their money grow over the years. This also gives them hands on experience in planning for their own future.

A parent cited his own example of continuing financial lessons with his daughter Sara who started to set saving targets at the age of 7. He gave her a piece of gold bought from her savings, and after several years he talked to her about investing in gold as a potential asset for value protection and as a “stable “currency in times of trouble. Sara’s “Portfolio” now consists of cash in a box, a piece of gold and a savings account that her father uses when she wants to use to move her cash to the bank. This father’s advise:

  • Teach children to be money –savvy
  • Start with basic concepts of value and savings.
  • Encourage and compliment your children when they save and value things. Then talk about spending and why it is important to spend wisely.
  • Talk about your own experience in investing, saving, and explain the different ways one can save through allocation of funds.

A final tip from me to you: It may be a good idea for you to buy a simple book on this as your finance skills [ though not shopping ] may have got rusted .And don’t forget your google partner to step up your finance activities with your kids……

Summers……

So the summer holidays begin and woof they will be over in a blink. Am sure u have planned various summer camps for your kids and of course a holiday to the hills, a cruise maybe or you may be heading out to beaches abroad. And so, many a summer pass by as do many a holidays and the kids are all grown and you are fondly reminding them of the places you took them so proudly to. {The grown kids of course seem oblivious to acknowledgement and look at you with a “So “? look]

Yes, the super mom has done so well as a parent. Then what happens about the expectations you have built up? The expectations of a child prodigy or just someone who is as perfect as you [ seriously?] or someone who accumulates credits for you …. How do you manage to realistically contribute a bit to what your expectations are? Certainly not by running from one summer camp to another, one joyride to another. However, humungous it may seem, this task is not difficult. It can be done. It must be done. It will be done. Let me recommend few simple, elementary, and yet tough work outs for you.

Yes, just go ahead with all the joyrides over the next six weeks but define those one or two elements which matter to you.  Let’s just take one out of the 20 example I can give you and one out of the 100 that mate google can list. “Language” You have been wishing that your child speaks better. The vocabulary needs to increase, intonation improved, syntax corrected. Then, just focus on that one development over the next few weeks. Carry on with the trip to the hills, to the summer camp but 24/7,45 days just have that one focus. No, proceed not by correction only, but by:

  • exposure,
  • exploration
  •  practice  
  • routine.

      How? lady just tap google and literally the world is at your feet. No I do not mean exposing the child to media learning but exposing yourself to it, to learn yourself all the language activities and then teach your child [ yes you are a graduate and you can do it] Nothing like a human face and touch to the early learner and none better than the parents which beats the second best – The Montessori teacher.

Go at this job only for six weeks, the way you work out at your gym to loose 4 kgs, shop for your vacation at a mall and gorge at your favorite gourmet food joint. Believe me this activity with your child will have rich dividends and as your spouse too will happily proclaim – it is cost free.

Hey but what about your own holiday… your “Me” time …. relax, it begins after six weeks when school starts. But really what are you going to personally achieve after six weeks? I assure you and am willing to bet that 8 out of 10 of you will feel:

  • a sense of achievement
  • You will have opened a Pandora’s box for your child who is going to carry on nonstop at this explosion of language skills which you honed
  • A sense of wellbeing that you did something meaning full over the summer holidays
  • A satisfaction that you know more about your child and that your relationship has strengthened over the six-weeks
  • That you have done something more than just take care of the physical well-being of your kid and entered the world of the psychic progress of your child

I think, no ,I am sure of it  ladies, just go for it and if you encounter any problems just blog me. When you meet with success blog me again to motivate and inspiring oth

To Parents…… With Love

I invite all who wish to share either an issue , advice or an interesting read to be part of this blog which I am starting Summer of ’19. From my end, I would love to share pages from my Montessori Archive which has loads of solutions , recommendations built over years and years of experience as an Early Years educationist .