Things have changed greatly in recent times. These changes have cut across many facets of life including child’s education. The educational roles played by the family as one of the primary agents of education in the life of a child have been sadly dwindling lately. At the age of six months or one year, a baby is already enrolled into crèche education.
For most of the hours of the day, the baby is with the nanny without parental intimacy. Many people have numerous excuses for this deplorable situation. We shall likely not touch those fragile pretexts in details.
However, to some parents, once they enroll their children in such formal learning setting, they lie back fulfilled. Whatever that is happening to the educational growth of the kid the parents either blame the school or the form tutor or, maybe, sometimes they don’t even notice until someone else draws attention to it.
Some parents do this because they do not know what else to do in the educational life of their wards apart from paying the school fees. Others developed this tepid attitude because they are too ‘busy’ striving to make ends meet. This attitude needs to be changed because we have many children who suffer educational loss as a consequence. Thus, the article explores the importance of parental monitoring.
The question then is – do parents have something else to do after enrolling their wards in school? The answer is yes. Of course, a lot of parents are passionate about the progress of their children in school. They are already doing everything they can to complement the packages that schools offer. For instance, some parents employ home lesson tutors and nannies to assist the child at home after school hours and during vacations.
Some parents even make provision for electronic learning materials and all that the child needs at home. Even, some parents take their children on excursions so that they can get exposed and learn new things. However, all these endeavors cannot replace parental monitoring. How then can parents monitor the academic progress of their children? The answer is not far-fetched. Each parent should practise the following:
▪ At least two times in a term, if not monthly or weekly, try to reach out to the form tutor and teachers of key subjects finding out how your child is faring in those areas.
▪ Always create time during weekends to check your children’s copy books; paying attention to teachers’ comments. Also, ask the child personal questions regarding negative comments. Congratulate the child on the positive comments and scold the child in certain instances where necessary.
▪ Give your child a task and take time to supervise it so as to ascertain the true ability of the child. The task might be a similar one recently given in school.
▪ Make out time to discuss career with your wards once in a while.
▪ Always give your child targets or ask him/her to set target for the week or term. You check it and promise a reward that you must fulfill if the target is met.
▪ Take time to go through subject comments and the attendant recommendations from your child’s reports sheet. Discuss everything with your child and wait to see improvement.
▪ Find out about the academic strength of your child’s school in terms of academic and moral standard.
▪ Teach your child to speak out on cases of abuse, bullying, and other issues of concern.
▪ Attend parents’ conference regularly and discuss some of the challenges of the school with the management and other people involved.
▪ Show how passionate you are for the progress of your ward’s education. Let teachers know; the child should also know.
Thus, at this point it may be apparent that certain roles in child’s education can only be effectively carried out by parents themselves; not the nannies or home lesson tutors. For instance, nannies cannot scold the child the way parents will do. Their disapproval can’t reflect how dad really feels and disapproves the child’s failure. They can’t even discuss career intimately with the child. Above all, nannies lack the capacity to replace parents; they can only come in to assist.
Thus, parents have monitoring roles to play in the educational business of their children. We must realize that many things contribute to a child’s failure in school and lack of proper parental monitoring is one of them. Therefore, all parents should rise up and partner with schools by doing their own part to see that children do well in academics.
About the Author
Agaigbe Uhembansha is an experienced and passionate English Language teacher who has taught for many years both in primary and secondary schools. He is a graduate of English Language from the University of Abuja who is currently running a Master’s Degree, also in the English Language, with Nasarawa State University Keffi. He obtained a professional teaching qualification, the National Certificate in Education (NCE), from College of Education Katsina-Ala. He has also acquired many pedagogical certifications from different international teacher training institutes and organizations. As a consequence of this educational milieu and academic exposure, he has excellent records of preparing students for English language and Literature in various examinations such as WAEC/NECO, IGCSE, SAT, and IELTS.