Parents of young children connect strongly with their kids’ schooling. You’ve probably noticed this. They’re wide-eyed about plays, excited at sporting events and festivals, and attend parent-teacher sessions religiously. Maybe you’ve also spotted that this enthusiasm wanes as the years pass. By the time students are in high school it’s much less evident. This should come as no surprise. A parent’s longing for a caring learning environment is part of their nurturing instinct, wrapping as a force of nature around them and their young children.
I like to think of teaching as a subset of parenting. It reminds me that caring is fundamental and inseparable from the task of imparting knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Great things can happen when this nurturing ‘force of nature’ is active in those who teach. It’s like an ‘Open Sesame!’ that unlocks the hidden cave of learning treasures. And it turns out that this is not just wishful thinking.
Education researchers and thinkers continue to draw attention to the vital role that caring plays in young children’s learning. Some have even suggested that learning is hardly possible unless, and until, a caring relationship exists between student and teacher. I suspect parents know this instinctively and so are relieved when they see caring flowing from teacher to child. Probably this instinct is at the foundation of much of the home schooling movement.
Parents know intuitively what researchers have uncovered: caring is the catalyst in the learning exchange. The fact that parents care is powerful and adds a further dimension to the notion that they are their child’s first teacher. Learning needs to be accessible anywhere – any time; it needs to be tailored to the needs of the individual learner – but it also needs to be caring.
So, when you are introducing our latest learn to read app, Sounds English Phonics to your child, stay with them long enough to make sure they know how the app works. This will not only make their use of Sounds English Phonics more effective but will help to cultivate the caring attitude.
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