Some advice as a parent and as a teacher.
- Fear not. If you do, your child most likely become anxious. He will probably have no idea why he is anxious, thus projecting the anxiousness and anxiousness about not knowing why he is anxious, to the school. Which will perhaps cause the exciting beginning of school become more of a terrifying thing.
- Do not assume. Don't assume that school is what it was when you were there. Don't assume the teacher to be certain kind. Don't assume your child to behave in a certain way or succeed in a certain level. Don't assume, ask, look, find out.
- Do not believe everything the child says. Do not doubt the child either. Understand that there is no absolute truth but different perceptions. Often both the child and the teacher (or friend) can be right even though their stories are different.
- Teach the child that the teacher can also make mistakes. Teach that it is also ok for the child to make mistakes.
- Teach the child to understand that homework is his responsibility. Help him own it. Let him suffer the consequences if he forgets to do them. Also understand that really, once in a while, it really isn't a big deal.
- Let the child know that you are always available for help when doing homework. Help only when asked. Help - do not do the work for the child, do not tell how the work is supposed to be done. Help the child to find the solutions and right answers. Do not correct the wrong answers. A good way is to ask the child about an incorrect answer: Look at this carefully - does it look right? If written, ask the child to read it out loud. Does it sound correct? How about you calculate that again to see if you get the same answer?
- Have a positive attitude. Your attitude towards school and your child's teacher is the biggest factor in how well your child will do in school.
- If you wonder about something, ask the teacher. Ask to understand, not to make your point clear.
- If something really is wrong, fight. Fight for your child. But not at the expense of other children.
- Remember that goals are good and important, but goals set by others aren't goals. They are sometimes barriers stopping us from spreading our wings to fly.
- Do not divide the class into good kids and bad kids.
- Do not think your child behaves the same at school as at home. Do not think he couldn't do something you never though he could. Don't take accusations at face value either. If you haven't mastered the skill of discussion yet (no one has), it's time to begin practicing.
- Remember that school is not life even though it helps to prepare for life.
- Remember that it is much more important to learn to work than to get good grades.
- Know that the most common answer to how school was, is "ok". And to the question "What did you do" the answer is "I don't remember". Do not worry. It is normal. Even though it looks like there is nothing to discuss, be available for discussion, because those times will come when you listening about school is crucial.
- Know that the teacher can do only so much. At the end, we as parents really are responsible for our children. Even their learning.
- Make sure your child knows he can talk to you about everything without being blamed or punished.
- If a child gets a punishment (or a consequence) for bad behaviour at school, remember that he already had the punishment. No need to punish again at home. A huge need for discussion though.
- Yes, teachers can be unfair. But try to help the child understand that even though he feels the teacher is unfair it might not be the case. Sometimes the teacher knows more than the pupils and what looks unfair is totally fair all things considered.
- Let the child have fun and enjoy school.
Any questions about school - feel free to ask - I have opinions. Perhaps not the right ones, but strong ones. :-)
Suomalaisille: on hyvä joskus lukea opetussuunnitelmaa: mitä lapsen pitäisi milloinkin osata ja miten arvosanat muodostuvat. Tosin siinä on opettajakohtaisia eroja hieman.
Peruskoulun opetussuunnitelman perusteet (uudistusprosessi alkanut)
Koulujen omat opetussuunnitelmat, joissa saattaa olla tarkennuksia ja painotuksia, löytyvät yleensä koulun omilta nettisivuilta.