I'm looking for some wisdom :-) Our 3.5yo starts kindy in January. We are in Australia. This is a non-compulsory part-time year which is offered the year they turn 4. She will be going to our local community kindy which is small and play-based, for 5 days a fortnight 8:20-2:30.
Everything I read says that the children who do best are the ones whose parents are involved in their education. My question is, what does involved mean? How should we contribute to be the best support we can be for her?
Thanks in advance
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
As the years go on, just providing a quiet, neat, supply-stocked area for homework every day is a good way to support learning.
support means so many things. there is the direct education help.. but there's so much more.
that they go to bed at the right time and they are up.
that they eat a good bfast
emotionally being there for them by understanding if they are tired or having a hard time.
however as lima said, you are already there by asking this question.
The research doesn't say anything about causality, though. There's some pretty good evidence, actually, that being involved per se does nothing to cause educational success. It's just an indicator of other factors that are what cause the success. "Freakonomics" authors Dubner and Levitt have a lot to say about this. Parents who are well-educated, who have higher socio-economic status, who have stable jobs and relationships, who are thoughtful and intelligent tend to also be involved in their kids' educations. It's not parental behaviours that play a big role: it's that who the parents are tends to influence both the child's educational success and their behaviours (like being involved in their kids' educations.)
All of which is to say: do what you feel is good and right and helpful and generous, and do it because of those factors. Give whatever support seems best at the time: what is needed and appreciated, what you feel good about giving. Who you are, a caring mom with her head screwed on right who values education and wants to be supportive, that's what will ensure your dd's success.
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
I dont know how they define 'involved'. Do they mean, being on parent committess? If so, then i dont see any causality there.
If they mean, being interested in your child in general, things like-their health, their well being, and what they are learning, how they are growing and evolving, then of course that has an impact, Its called, drum roll....parenting.
Specifically, if you are interested in what your child is learning while at school, then you would be involved by presumably being with them later, and observing them, coaching them, finding out what they did at school etc.
Later, it will be about being aware of their homework, the sort of things they do at school, liaising with the teachers, being on board if there are problems, fasciliating their doing homework, by providing the spae, encouragement, planning etc.
All the factors that really improve a student's outcome have more to do with what you are, not what you do. I read Freakonomics too. Do what comes naturally, spend time with her and make sure she's got her needs met, read to her. As academics begin to matter more help review homework, tutor her when needed, and encourage her to do her best. Beware of schools that equate "involved" with "count on me for fundraising". That's no direct help to your child.
For us it has changed over the years and depending on DC's needs and the parent involvement at school. For young kids I think being available to go with your child for as many drop-offs and pick-ups as possible is a great way to stay connected. Actually walk them in and show up a bit early at pick-up to hang out -- if you can. I also think just talking is a good thing. We employed the "highs and lows" strategy to get some info out of our DC after school. She would tell me one "high" and one "low". I'm also super social so I often do a lot of volunteering at the school. Personally, I'm not sure how much that actually helps my DC in any measurable way. It helps the school so, indirectly, it helps but I don't think the impact is measurable.
I just read a book called How Children Succeed. It's not really about how to help your individual child do well, but how children overall do well in school. "Involved" means someone makes sure you do your homework and get to school on time every day. It means the children live in a stable home environment. The book referenced the "traumas" that tend to go along with poor academic performance and those were things like parents who die or leave, homelessness, food scarcity, physical or mental abuse at home, foster care, etc.
It's an interesting read.