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Take Charge of Your Child's Education

A kindergarten teacher's perspective on home schooling

by ONEsie  |  1826 views  |  3 comments  |       Rate this now! 

The political campaigns of 2008 are focusing a tremendous amount of attention on early childhood education in America. These politicians are filling their speeches with promise after promise of what the government can and should do to provide universal preschool for everyone. I am encouraged by these speeches, but feel like the emphasis on universal programs is financially impossible. Historically, our nation has only been able to fund preschool for the low-income sector, and even those programs (i.e., Head Start) haven’t produced the results promised.

Who is the most enthusiastic stakeholder in a child’s life? Who has the single most potential to define the educational potential of a child? Who is a child’s favorite playmate? The parents!

Parents want their child to walk into kindergarten confident and ready to be successful in school and life. So, parents need to be experts on their own child’s development. We must begin teaching our children from birth -- ourselves.

Not every parent in our nation has gone to school to be a teacher, but it is possible to define the what, when and how you teach a child before they enter kindergarten in a logical, fun and easy-to-manage way.

As a national board-certified kindergarten teacher, I have seen first-hand the decline in abilities (social and academic) and level of understanding of students entering kindergarten over the past 15 years. You are probably thinking that, given technological advances we should be improving, right? Yes, we should be -- but we are not! Several factors have led to the decline of student readiness and eagerness for learning in this new global society, including:

1. More single parent homes. According to The United States Census, three out of every 10 American children are living in single-parent homes. The biggest investment necessary for a child’s success in school and life is time. Time to motivate, time to model, time to mentor, time to share in learning activities, time to appreciate one another's strengths and work to improve weaknesses. When one adult pulls the weight of two, there is just never enough time!

2. More moms working full-time outside of the home. In the United States, the labor force participation of mothers with preschool-age children tripled between 1960 and 1990, rising from 20 percent to 60 percent. According to Stanford researcher Paula England, the workforce participation of mothers continued to rise during the 1990s, but at a much slower rate, so that by 2000, 65 percent of mothers of preschoolers were working.

Working moms often cope with chaos, tantrums, rushed dinners and fights over bedtime. Instead, this should be a time when working moms enjoy the precious few moments with their kids. These moms need an organized and quick resource to ensure their special time together is spent in a fun and meaningful way to relieve some of the guilt facing the working mother.

About the Author

Tracey Bryant Stuckey CEO - Wiggle Giggle Learn tracey@wigglegigglelearn.com http://traceybryantstuckey.blogspot.com

Read more by ONEsie

3 comments so far...

  • Early intervention is definately the key to success for our children today. There are great playgroups now offered across the country that allow parents to access wonderful toys and materials for their children ages birth - 6. And they are free! Also, at playgroups, many times the playgroup leader is trained to identify children with developmental issues that may have learning disabilites. Or they have someone that visits regularly that has that training. Plus, as a parent, you will meet new friends and learn new songs and games that you can use at home. Play time is the perfect time to start teaching your child the early skills they need for school.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mykidcanlearn on 31st January 2008

  • I really agree that we as parents need to be more involved in the education of our children. I am lucky enough to get to spend lots of time with my daughter, and I have a great education, and the resources to seek out the information necessary. Unfortunately this is not the case for many many parents. I don't know of any parents who don't do the best that they know how, but sadly parenting skills are lacking for many. It feels like such a hopeless, never ending, cycle.

    I think that social programs that educate parents as well as children is one key factor to helping solve this problem. I still don't know what to do about parents who have no time to attend something like that though.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 16th January 2008

  • Very interesting article and a good analysis. So what do you think will help to reverse this downward curve? What can we do to actually improve the quality of students entering kindergarten?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 14th January 2008

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