When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go further in school.
The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from preschool through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background.
You do not need to spend a lot of money to create an early learning environment. Simply expose children to toys that help them learn and gain life experience.
But how many parents care? It is surprising to see how parents expect children to have skills they never taught them.
“I am so disgusted sometimes when I see that my daughter cannot do some domestic chores that our neighbour’s daughter does, yet they are of the same age,” complained Mary Mukagasana, a mother of four.
Such complaints are not unique to Mary. But how can you expect a child to know how to cook without being taught to do so?
“Unless, you punish children when they are still young, they will not learn and work hard”, says Joseph Mutabingwa, a father of three children. This misconception can have disastrous effects, leaving children without vital skills.
Arrange daily or weekly demonstrations (depending on your availability) to give skills to your children. If it is teaching them how to wash clothes for example, show them how to go about it.
Do not punish a child for failing to iron his or her clothes or polish shoes. They simply need to be exposed; children are fast learners.
In developing countries like Rwanda, children are neglected right from the family level, to any other level in the society. How many shops for example, do we have selling children toys in Rwanda?
Very few and expensive. How many Rwandans fabricate children toys, though they would sell like hot cakes?
None; our businesspersons simply don’t get it and would rather sell cold milk, sodas and beer with little or no profits. We are missing an opportunity to shape our children’s future.
Children’s neglect goes to other areas. Take restaurants for example, try and find one that has a children’s menu. It is a great embarrassment for a parent to go to a restaurant with kids, only to find that he or she cannot get food for them. Let our commitment to our children begin in the home.