Lois Stoffle: Practice is justified
September 29, 2013
I was a little dismayed while reading the letter to the editor from a mom who was complaining about having to practice "sight words" with her child. The fact that the teacher sent a letter home explaining the need for practice was justified! Children learn at different paces or speeds. One child may excel in spelling and reading but be slow at math and vice versa. I went to a parochial school that had small classes. We were sent home with "homework" nightly, from first grade on. Our teachers had made "flip cards" for us to take home and practice our sight words and simple math problems. My parents had no problem whatsoever with helping me practice. After all, who is your child's greatest educator? You are. You may not have a college teaching degree, but you are the one who your child looks up to for guidance and acceptance from birth through, and including adulthood. Who teaches your children good manners and good behavior? Who teaches them how to make good decisions and to know right from wrong? Who instructs them on the ways of the world and how to get along with others? That's our job as parents. Assisting with their formal education also is our job. A child will excel only is if the school and the home work together. Having a job outside of the home is no excuse for not helping your child with homework. Taking turns reading with them while they are reading their required books makes for a fun and interesting evening or afternoon and gives you something to discuss later. My children may be grown and maybe this is just old-fashioned thinking on my part, but I actually enjoyed helping them. And I loved reading with and to them. It kept us close and talking with each other. More parents should get involved with their precious children's education. They are with us for such a short time before they move on into the world. Speak with their teachers and find out what you can do at home to help your child excel in their education and their lives.