Some thoughts on Parenting for the early years:
1. Of course, every parent’s number one concern will be: “Is my child getting a proper education to compete and thrive in our world?” ( prosper, flourish)
2. The one thing most parents have in common, is an experience with our education system. As a result, almost everyone has an opinion on what is right and, even often more vocalized, what is wrong with the system. What complicates these views further is the fact that most of us were educated by teachers who employed 20th century pedagogy and methodology, which means that the 20th century is the basis of our educational experience.
3. Since we are now almost halfway through the second decade of the 21st century, we need to get everyone up to speed. This requires educating parents about the education of their children.
4. Some points:
No longer can a teacher’s quality be judged by the amount of homework assigned.
Quiet and complacent kids are not necessarily signs of students engaged in learning.
The teacher’s content expertise should no longer be the controlling or limiting factor in a student’s education.
We do not need rows of desks to ensure attention.
All learning is not limited to the classroom.
5. What makes parents qualified to play a role in the education of their children?
5.1: A vested interest in their children. All parents want the absolute best for their children and desire to equip them to succeed in life. Even the most passionate, dedicated teacher cannot be more committed to a child’s success than its parents.
5.2: The key to this is parents who are committed to providing their children an encouraging and conducive learning environment. The elements of this are : books, owned or borrowed, paper or e-books on kindle or iPad, fiction, non-fiction, classics, modern lit, historical fiction, poetry etc.
5.3: A passion for learning. A parent with a passion for learning is as capable and equipped to teach his children as an educator with a degree. A parent doesn’t need to know every aspect of every subject.
Resources for Parenting:
1. The most well known book in the field ( almost a Bible) is Benjamin Spock’s ” Baby and Childcare”. It has a special edition for India, and also and e-book version.
While it is still available in paperback, Dr. Spock”s Baby and Child Care is now available for Kindle, Nook, and iPad from Skyhorse. Along with more than 1,000 pages of invaluable time-tested wisdom as in its previous editions, the e-format will include a search function to help parents locate terms, and updated information by Dr. Robert Needlman on relevant topics, such as:
* Child care in an era of expanding choices
* Promoting success without overstressing competition
* Electronic media and the obsession with electronic games
* New views on nutrition: how to prevent obesity and other chronic illnesses, and enrich happiness
* Creative coping with the stress of economic insecurity
* Diversity in cultures, families, parenting beliefs, and children themselves
* The newest thinking on children with special health and developmental needs
* Solid approaches to common, yet severe conditions including ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and depression
2. Another very useful but not so popular book is by the Mathematician Philosopher Bertrand Russell with the title ” On Education, specially in early childhood”.
3. A recent book is by Sir Ken Robinson with the title ” The Element”.
4. A fourth book that we suggest parents should read is by Paul Tough and its title is ” How Children Succeed”
5. The fifth book we suggest is Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, Chihiro Iwasaki