Getting children through school is a challenge, no parent will tell you any different.
You want them to have a wonderful childhood, become well balanced and successful. You want the very best for your child. But schooling is a process whereby large numbers of young minds are taught and learn to pass exams, prior to the world of work or further education.
All children are different and learn at different speeds and in different ways. The one size fits all solution to education means that it is very likely that at some stage your child will struggle at school. You have to accept this.
The question is what are you going to do about it? Accept it? Try and sort it out? Just worry and do nothing?
How often have you heard one of your children say ‘I don’t feel like I can ask questions in class’.
Your first reaction is to want to know why. Reasons can vary from looking foolish in front of your friends if you don’t understand something, shyness, large class sizes and disruptive classmates. Or it could be a simple lack of chemistry between the child and their teacher. Take your pick.
As a parent you want to do all that you can to help. When can you see the teacher – try and fit time into their diary? Can you wait for that ten minute slot that is ‘Report Evening’?
What happens if you just get the feeling that whatever you do will not resolve the problem? What should you do? What can you do?
Involving the teacher at any early stage has to be your first step. They are bound to have come across these issues before. If they are not aware of the issue already then bringing it to their attention can’t hurt, who knows there may be a magic wand to wave that will make the problem disappear overnight.
Talking it through with friends and family can also help. Getting the opinion of someone who can see it from another perspective or who has been through it before can only help.
There are solutions like private tutoring which is often used to fill gaps in children’s knowledge or help them get to grips with subjects that they really struggle with. Tutoring can work best when the tutor has a good understanding of the problem and has spoken to the class teacher. But probably the most important factor is the chemistry between the tutor and student. It’s a different relationship without the pressures of the busy classroom, a place where confidence is allowed to grow.
My children are now taking GCSE’s and A levels. I can honestly say that the angst associated with getting your kids through school never abates. The issues are just as relevant today as they were when my children started Reception. It isn’t easy, you just have to do the best job you can as a parent and support them in every way that you can to see to it that they become well balanced and successful, despite school.