I had a the fortune of joining my son and his Boy Scouts troop on a campout a week ago. It was an adventure to behold no doubt. We had a great time hiking, cooking over campfire, skipping rocks, telling stories around the campfire and in general being in the great outdoors.
Amidst all of the joy of the weekend, I could hear several conversations around me from other parents who were getting their children ready to go back to school. It’s hard to tune conversations out once the topic becomes our schools and our communities. One conversation in particular truly had me leaning a little bit closer.
There were three fathers discussing what the expectations for their soon to be sixth graders would be. A little background here. One is an engineer, one is an accountant and the other is a small business owner. So when their talk turned to math and the homework their 5th graders were coming home with I was all ears. Here are some snippets:
“My son comes home with this math homework that makes absolutely no sense to me.”
“Mine too. I can’t even start to help my children with their work. I look at it and I know how I would get the answer, but I know that isn’t how their teachers want them to answer it.”
“Yeah. When I try to explain it to my daughter and the way I learned it she gets confused and doesn’t understand so she becomes frustrated and doesn’t want my help anymore.”
It is not enough to make them aware of WHAT their child will be learning, but we also must let them know HOW their child will be taught. This was powerful perspective for me. I had long thought this was how many parents felt, but to hear it confirmed was eyeopening. So the question becomes are we preparing our parents to actually BE partners in their child’s education?