Why is it important?
We try to be as involved with our 6 year olds education as much as we can as feel genuinely believe it will help her succeed not only in school but in life. Research shows that it’s not how much money you make or what your own educational experience was like but the things that you do at home to encourage learning that makes a difference. By taking an active interest we are showing her that we value what she is learning at school and helps her to develop a positive attitude towards school. She skips to school each morning, her attendance is exceptional and she loves it.
What can we do to help?
At the beginning of term we receive a letter from her teacher/school telling us what the next topics are going to be and we try to plan activities around this. This term is all about Famous Buildings.
As we are only 20 minutes away from London what better place to explore famous buildings. Thanks to a good friend , Richard Warmsley, who knows London well, suggested a fabulous route, starting at the New Blackfriars station, which spans the Thames, we wandered along the Southbank; taking in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, strolled passed The Globe Theatre of Shakespeare Fame, salivated through Borough Market, stopped for refreshments at the George Inn, London’s only remaining galleried pub which is run by the National Trust, with fabulous views of the rather impressive Shard, then back along the Thames, across the Millenium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral.
A very busy day but when we got back she insisted on drawing a map of our route, sticking pictures on it and writing a bit about each of the places. Fabulous!
There must be an app for that?
She wanted to explore famous buildings on the internet and my first thought was there has to be an app for that. Low and behold there was. I found Barefoot World Atlas, which we love. It’s an interactive 3D globe that you can spin, zoom into places, explore famous buildings/landmarks and listen to Nick Crane the BBC presenter tell you all about it. Her favourite is the Blue Mosque in Turkey. She insisted on taking the iPad to school to show her teacher.
Good old fashioned fun
I can’t remember the last time I’ve sat down and done a puzzle. It’s not all just about technology in our house. I know that may come as a surprise. We’re huge fans of traditional games and family time. We spent hours, working on this gorgeous wooden jigsaw puzzle from Wentworth’s with World Map surrounded by famous buildings including the Eiffel Tower, Parthenon and the Colliseum. I have to admit the puzzle and all 250 pieces was a bit challenging, but a great sense of accomplishment when we finished and gave us an opportunity to chat about different places and other famous buildings.
What others things we could be doing to help
There is probably a lot more that I can be doing but as a working mum, I can’t be around all the time. At the moment I run, with another parent, a Computer Coding Club as a volunteer on a Friday at lunchtime. I try my best to attend all parent teacher interviews and any other workshops that the school is offering (e.g Phonics, Spelling and Grammar, Numeracy and Internet Safety).
I think the most important thing I can do as a parent as she gets older is to try and stay involved, even during those years when she would rather not know me.
Are you involved as much as you would like to be? What other things could I be doing? Do you find as your child got older you were involved less even though you wanted to be?