Helping young learners to appreciate education

Educational Journey with EPHAT MUDENDA
DID YOU know that before they reach the ‘rebellious’ teenage years, young children normally believe that their mothers and fathers know everything?

They follow the example set by their parents without ever analysing what they are learning.
It is unfortunate that, in most cases, we as parents, guardians and other older members of society teach young ones things through our actions that we may not want to teach them. Therefore, we will do well to take a moment to step back and see if our words and actions are actually helping our children to understand just how important it is to love school.
We can help to impress upon the minds of the little ones the importance of attending class by developing a lifestyle that includes going to class on time, whether they are at a private, public or community school.
It is true that learners who are often late or absent from school tend to have more difficulty maintaining a high level of academic performance.
Just as we show seriousness and commitment towards our work, businesses, family welfare, church programmes, interpersonal relations, and sometimes our studies as we advance our educational qualifications, it is vital to help young pupils to appreciate – early in life – the essence of adopting values that are beneficial to both an individual and society in the long term.
If parents, guardians and teachers unnecessarily begin allowing learners to skip class often for various reasons, the young minds may end up believing that education is, after all, less important than it really is.
Parents should make sure to attend meetings that require their presence at school, such as parent-teacher association meetings, as well as at the end of a school term when teachers release pupils’ results after they have written their tests, among other activities during which school authorities insist that they would like to interact with the learners’ parents and guardians. This will surely go a long way in teaching children the importance of going to school.
When parents become fully involved in school activities, little children begin to make appreciate that their academic life really matters. This follows the fact that, as we spend time doing something, we inevitably attach importance to that particular activity. It is therefore true, on the other hand, that if we do not spend time being involved with our children’s educational experience we are in effect telling them that this is not important enough to warrant our precious time.
It is possible that parents and guardians can make homework and other school assignments a regular part of their daily routine just to encourage young ones to enjoy going to school. Finding time to sit down with a child and reviewing homework gives the learner a lot of confidence to even look forward to going to class the next day.
Though it may prove to be ‘busy work’ or ‘too much’, validating the homework and other assignments that teachers give the children is essentially meant to validate their education on a regular basis. After all, our children are looking to us to see just how hard they should work on their academic tasks.
When we get excited about what young people under our care are learning, as well as when we deliberately make a big deal out of their achievement in school, they tend to be happy too. When you openly show that you are proud of your child because he or she is able to add, subtract or do multiplication, or that they can name different countries and their capital cities, for instance, chances are that you will have an excited learner on your hands.
As children behold the excitement exhibited by their parents, not only will they themselves get excited about school, but they will get to enjoy the educational process more and more. Young ones are likely to develop those attitudes and values that adults around them express either verbally or non-verbally.
No doubt, education plays a critical role in our children’s futures. So it is important for us to model habits and attitudes that must enhance their educational experience – the kind of experience that should help them to fully appreciate the importance of going to school.

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