Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Tag: school

Does Your School Put Too Much Pressure On Your Children? Should You Consider Home School?

(contributed article)

The one place in a child’s life that is going to have a huge impact on them is their school. This is where they will learn to interact with people on their own level, gain the basics of an education to get them through exams and subsequent college entry, and where they will learn how to handle themselves in a variety of situations. Of course, choosing to home educate doesn’t mean that they won’t get that same treatment, but the school environment has a huge influence on our children and their future. The question that you must always ask yourself as a parent is whether that influence is a positive one or not.

Schools tend to err on the side of exams and statistics. They outline the curriculum based on what children need to know, with parental support for the practical side of education and the more “common sense” items that we all learn as we go through life. At school, children will be taught to sit at desks or tables and focus, to sit still and to be quiet while the teacher is talking. It’s the way most schools have always been run, and it’s what can often put too much pressure on some children.

Children do not all absorb the information in the same way; and while many schools praise children who have a good memory for things like multiplication facts and historical dates, there is more to learning than this memorization approach. Yes, children will need to know their basic arithmetic facts, and yes, there’s a lot of positives for learning good phrases & creative writing words in English class. The lessons themselves are not usually the problem; often, it’s the expectations put upon the children that is the main issue. Many schools may not take into account that three out of four children could be great at “desk learning”, but that one in four may need some visual aids or movement to retain the information. It really depends on children’s learning style. Schools are often not equipped to handle too many different learning styles because budgets are stretched enough as it is.

As a parent, having a  close relationship with your child’s school is helpful, so that you can ascertain whether your child is struggling under pressure or not. If they are, then you could start to assess whether the school environment is the right one for your child. Some children do far better when home educated; it’s more relaxed, more concentrated on what the child is interested in and offers your child the chance to meet different people from all walks of life.

School determines so many factors in life – from the college that they attend to the job they have eventually – but it’s not the only way to learn. Sometimes, the school environment puts pressure on our children unnecessarily, and it’s going to be your job to make the world of learning exciting for your kids when this happens. Understanding the signs of undue stress can help you to decide whether your child is managing okay at school or not.


Preschool Preparation: Everything a Mom Can Do

(contributed article)

Every mom is secretly terrified at the thought of sending their little one off to preschool. There are so many emotions flying around, and it is so easy to forget what we need to do to help them through this milestone. A few stages of preparation with your child will help them to become accustomed to the new lifestyle. It will also help you come to terms with the fact that your baby is growing up and gaining his or her independence. Be brave and let’s get through together.

Perfect Personalization

Get your child fully ready for their first day by getting together the essentials. They’re going to need a list (that is longer than their arm) of supplies, so get them involved and excited during the process. You will need to get them a proper school bag, which will make them feel super grown up. There are beautiful ranges online, such as Nicki’s gucci backpacks, which will make your little one feel really special. Allow your child to help pick out their lunchbox and clothing too, so they feel part of the preparations. The more personal everything feels to them, the more excited and less nervous they are likely to be.

Crafty Kitting Out

Start doing some DIY projects together to help with the preschool prep. You could make homemade name tags for their new backpack, lunchbox, and coat. Add a picture of their favorite animal or pick out their favorite color to create the perfect look for them. You can also personalize their water bottle or pencil case with homemade decorations. It’s so easy for kids to get their things mixed up when they start a new school, so make theirs stand out and add a real homemade touch to all of their belongings.

Lesson Learning

Try to mimic a classroom environment at home and teach your child the basics before they start preschool. Simple classroom techniques, like listening and following multi-step directions, will prepare them for everything that school has to throw at them. Even simple arts and crafts sessions at home will be an awesome building block for their creative and cognitive development.

Helping At Home

Be the best support for your child when they are at home. Once they have started school, they will have a million things they need to keep up with, and it can be overwhelming at times. Keep them calm and create a supportive atmosphere for them at home. Get involved with their school activities, such as bake sales or sports days. Offer to help out at functions and events if you can, so that your child feels the connection between you and their education. Help them out with any homework they might have, but still allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. Make sure you attend regular meetings and conferences with teachers, so that you are aware of any problems they might be having. The teachers will have your child’s best interest at heart, so work with them as much as you can.

It’s a difficult step for everybody, but with a little planning and preparation, your little superstar will breeze through their first year of preschool.