I believe most parents would agree that we never stop learning. This insightful article (quotes and link below) from NY Times columist Thomas Friedman offers some good advice for parents regarding education.
First, a sad fact about America's
young people. A quote:
"Every three years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development, or O.E.C.D., conducts exams as part of the Program for International
Student Assessment, or PISA, which tests 15-year-olds in the world’s leading
industrialized nations on their reading comprehension and ability to use what
they’ve learned in math and science to solve real problems — the most important
skills for succeeding in college and life. America’s
15-year-olds have not been distinguishing themselves in the PISA
exams compared with students in Singapore,
Finland and Shanghai."
Another quote on why the big differrence:
For instance, the PISA study revealed that “students whose parents
reported that they had read a book with their child ‘every day or almost every
day’ or ‘once or twice a week’ during the first year of primary school have
markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents reported that
they had read a book with their child ‘never or almost never’ or only ‘once or
twice a month.’ On average, the score difference is 25 points, the equivalent
of well over half a school year.”
your child may come naturally and its benefits could seem obvious although it's
clear from the study that many parents aren't reading to their children on a
regular basis. I know several educated parents who admitted to me that
they rarely read newspapers, online articles or books, which surprised me. It's
doubtful they are frequent readers to their young ones.
One of the reasons I'm a competent writer is that my mother and father were
big proponents of education. On the nights I didn't have homework, my mother
often gave me her own homework. In addition, I love to read and much of that
stems from my parents. Because of their care, educational success was made easy
and it sparked my curiosity about the world..
is in a lot of pain, with millions unemployed and a bad economy. One way to
bring back some of the pleasure is to make sure reading stays front and center
in as many homes as possible. As this article suggests, one's background isn't
necessarily a barrier in helping your child to succeed:
The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in
their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socioeconomic
background. Parents’ engagement with their 15-year-olds is strongly associated
with better performance in PISA.”
“Monitoring homework; making sure children get to school; rewarding
their efforts and talking up the idea of going to college. These parent actions
are linked to better attendance, grades, test scores, and preparation for
college,” Barth wrote. “The study found that getting parents involved with
their children’s learning at home is a more powerful driver of achievement than
parents attending P.T.A. and school board meetings, volunteering in classrooms,
participating in fund-raising, and showing up at back-to-school nights.”
In our busy worlds, it would be beneficial for parents to sit back now and
then , reflect and make sure we are giving our child the best possible
opportunity for success. Reading
more is an easy way to do that.
The author's final point:
To be sure, there is no substitute for a good teacher. There is
nothing more valuable than great classroom instruction. But let’s stop putting
the whole burden on teachers. We also need better parents. Better parents can
make every teacher more effective.
Happy Gswede Sunday!