Why it’s important to show an interest in your child’s schooling

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.

Day trips

Things to see with Kids in London

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

Map of world wooden jigsaw puzzle

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?

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby!

Photo Credit

I watched The Sex Education Show on Channel 4 on Tuesday night.  I watched the series last year and really enjoyed it and to be honest learned a thing or two.  I like how the kids can ask any questions related to sex and they get a no non-sense, open, and factual answer with the odd enlarged photo of genitalia thrown in.  At least, we’ll have a generation of men who know where the clitoris is!!

However, it dawned on me when watching it that they handle the biology of it really well, but missed a major issue.  I’m from the school of thought that kids are going to ‘do it’ anyway so we might as well arm them with as much information as we possibly can.  I don’t think I’d go as far as putting condom machines in Primary Schools and I’m not comfortable with girls accessing the morning after pill without parent/adult consent or knowledge.

I appreciate it’s a factual show but really wish they would’ve addressed the emotional aspects of sexual relationships with the teens.  One girl asked if it hurt the first time, fair question, but the response was all about relaxing and lubrication.  Not once did they mention waiting until you are ready and/or in a trusting relationship.  I know that this is the side of Sex Ed that should be addressed in the home but many of us know that this doesn’t always happen.  As an ex-teacher I know.  I think my sex talk with my mum consisted of her saying ‘don’t pick any Joe off the street!’, which did work surprisingly.

I hope that programmes like this are around when Madame gets to an age where we need to have the ‘talk’ but I’ll watch it with her.

So how did your parents teach you about the birds and the bees or how did you teach your kids???