Editorial | Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: Take Heed Of Your Child’s Education

Only a week away and parents who have children going to school again this year and for first timers, it’s that time again when the rush is on. Regardless of
08 Jan 2019 11:12
EDITORIAL: Take Heed Of Your Child’s Education

Only a week away and parents who have children going to school again this year and for first timers, it’s that time again when the rush is on.

Regardless of how you may entice parents to get the school bags, uniforms, shoes and other items ready early, many will wait until the rush is on.

People just love last-minute shopping in Fiji.

On the brighter side, the way has been paved by the Government to make education so much easier and definitely no need to mention the many incentives and initiatives out there to grasp.

School fees were definitely one big worry.

But let us take a step further and look into the education of our children and especially one area which many parents delve into to make their child or children the cream of the crop.

That is excellent, but achieving that through forcing your child into complex concepts at an early age is the worrying part.

You know how it is when parents gather and each try to beat the other with how well his or her son or daughter is doing.

In The Intuitive Parent: Why the Best Thing for Your Child Is You, author Stephen Camarata found, among other things, that:

  • Many schools force too much material onto the normally (and naturally) developing mind of young children and may inadvertently push children — especially boys — into looking like they have ADHD when they might not. (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable to control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention).
  • It is rare for a child to be precisely at “grade level” in every subject. Research indicates that attempts to accelerate intellectual development are, in fact, counterproductive.

Of course, children nowadays are well advanced and one example is giving a two or three-year-old a mobile phone.

One would be surprised at how savvy they are at that age with technology.

From this, some parents then force their children into strict studying and less social time.

One does not realise that important and precious family time is lost to school work and in most cases that always comes back to haunt them.

But so-called success in school is a high-stakes enterprise that weighs on the minds of parents from the time the baby is born, or even sooner.

Most Fijian parents know of the tests schools put out when one goes for interview for their child to be admitted to Year 1.

Before that, children are drilled with differentiating colours, counting from one to 10, knowing your animals and so forth.

All this is crammed into the child’s brain at this age and this is to entertain the school’s need for the test, regardless of its unreliability.

Then there are the schools that set a certain mark from which they accept students.

These schools, in the past and to some extent still do, get the cream of the primary school and when they do well it seems that they have the best teachers and learning facilities.

In fact, the main reason is that they have the top students and the rest of the schools just have to take the leftovers.

Government has done well to create the zones where it is now difficult for these schools to poach top students.

For parents, a helpful strategy is to observe your children doing their homework and to see which items they can easily complete, which are a bit more difficult for them and which ones they simply cannot do.

From here, work with the teachers so that your child is responsible for the easy items and the ones that are of moderate difficulty.

Try to negotiate holding off on the impossible items until your child is ready.

Regardless of which solution is right for you, the key is to be actively engaged in your child’s education.

Happy School Year 2019!

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj




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