Author – Gopa Dutta
A home is the first school for every child and parents are their first teachers. And they continue to paly the role of teachers throughout the life of a child. From teaching them to how to eat, to recognize colors, to recognize people, instilling values etc. parents has been the first most educators in a child’s life.
Once the child starts attending formal education, parents still continues to play an important role as supplementary educators. Supplementary education is provision for both children and young people outside of mainstream education. It is a kind of informal learning and developmental enrichment opportunities provided to students outside of school and beyond the regular school days. In schools that have a defined set of rules and subjects to be followed, supplementary education plays a very important role in the development of a child`s holistic and overall development.
How can parents become supplementary educators?
- Learning Own Culture and Mother Tongue: Parents can offer a wide range of learning opportunities like cultural studies, different dance and music forms and learning to read and write their own mother tongue. There are a huge number of people who has settled outside their own state or country for various reasons and children often miss the opportunity to learn their own mother tongue, their own culture and other art forms. In such case parents are the best educators from where they get a first hand experience of learning their own mother tongue or other art forms.
- Faith Based Learning: India, which is home to different faiths, here parents can teach their children about their particular faith they follow in their home, which is not taught at a formal education institute.
- Gardening Activities: Those parents who actively participate in gardening can be great educators to their children. Children here will get a first hand experience on every aspect of gardening. It can be taken as a project or daily activity, apart from the regular school activities and projects. Gardening helps younger children in developing fine motor skills like whole-hand grasping. Feeling the texture of soil, mud, leaves and flowers can help in developing their sensory stimulation.
- Camping and Trekking Activities: Camping and trekking, as a family can be motivating factor for parents to bond, spend time together and work as a team. Trekking and camping, which involves going outside your comfort zone, can help children to mingle with other people.
- Learning Life skills: Are children well equipped with essential life skills to face the world? Learning life skills like cooking, doing the dishes, sewing, making their own bed, laundry basics are no longer a gender specific work. And parents are the best teachers to their children when it comes to teaching life skills. Once they are ready to leave their parents home to pursue their dreams or other career they don’t have to worry about anything. They will be more confident to step outside their comfort zone.
Parents who has been actively contributing as supplementary educators their children shows high achieving results not only in schools but in other extra curricular activities also and always have a positive outlook towards life.