Thursday 4 October 2012

How Parents Can Help Every Child Reach Their Potential...

Do you ever get the feeling that you are sometimes the last person to know about something? That is what happened to me this week. So, lets take a step back first.
Earlier in the week Ebi-kun was complaining about school, he is not a big fan and he hates maths. This worries me because he has always enjoyed learning, I suspect that is the problem, he is not learning and so he is bored.

In maths at school they are just starting addition where the sum is over 10, for a kid that can do long multiplication, he must be bored out of his skull. The problem is that it is teacher focused learning and they go at the speed of the slowest kids in the class. Great if you are one of the slower one but it is a system that penalises the brighter kids. 

I believe that as parents or educators it is our job and responsibility to provide our children with the tools they need to teach themselves, it is not our job to make them sit them down go through workbooks. Once a child's interest has been sparked, they will immerse themselves in the subject, they suddenly get a thirst for it and just want more and more. We should be there to provide the knowledge in whatever form so that they can soak it all in.

Wouldn't it be great if the kids at school could work at their own pace and the teachers was there to help those who needed it? Wouldn't it be good idea if the kids that are good at something could then help tutor the ones that needed the help? Anyone who is into Montessori will recognise these ideas and for me, it is a solid, sensible idea that would help EVERYONE in the class, no matter their ability.

So, yesterday I opened a newsletter from Kathreen and one of the links took me to this TED talk below. I sat and watched it. Twice. Then I clicked through and took a look at the academy, it is brilliant, the concept, the set up and the idea that they can change a standard classroom set up from teacher focused to child focused proves that it can be done. 

Ebi-kun came home yesterday and when it came to cook dinner I asked him if he would like to take a look at this new website (Khan Academy BTW it's all free). He said yes, I had already set up an account for him, so I introduced him to the first module and left him to it. He LOVES it, I had to drag him off to have his dinner and as soon as he was finished he was back on there! Yep, this is the kid who earlier in the week told me he hates maths. What he hates really is not learning maths.

The Victorian way of teaching that goes on many schools needs to be changed, to get best potential out of every child and every teacher the class needs to be child focused.

As one mom in Japan, I can't do much to make this change happen but by sharing this it is a start. If just 10 people who watch and read this then share the Khan Academy information with their friends and the their friends do the same, we can get this concept in front of a lot of people. Then maybe, Khan's dream of every child working at their own pace and the idea of child focused classrooms can become a reality.

So, take two seconds and hit the share button to share the video and let's help make a positive change for our children.

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