Bring out the best in them

Parents – give yourselves a break from being teachers. ‘Home-Schooling’ perhaps isn’t a term that captures how you enable your child to learn at their best.

We’re hearing from parents all across Scotland and beyond about the challenges of being a tutor to your young home learners on the three r’s, or subjects you feel out of your depth on when trying to explain it to your children.

Let’s zoom out of those complex worries and bear in mind the true meaning of education: to bring out. Not to put in. Your young learners at home have a wealth of knowledge, interests, personal resources and passions of their own that they can use to explore any other learning, without a ‘jug and mug’ approach to doing it. If there’s one thing you can do to support them be their best right now, it’s to feed their imaginations, motivation and curiosity to explore learning on their terms and to keep them feeling happy, loved and secure so they’re confident to do that.

Scotland’s approach to developing our young people, after all, rests on the fundamental principle that wellbeing is central to their growth as a whole person. We’ve come to know GIRFEC as ‘Getting It Right For Every Child’ but what is the ‘it’ that we are to get right? In youth work, I learned this to be ‘Growing Individuals Ready for Every Challenge’, recognising the value in young people’s growth being focused on their development as whole people, not just as academic learners.

Now, more than ever, in the midst of a pandemic and lockdown we know we need to prioritise young people’s safety and health; support them to be active; nurture them; within home learning settings provide them with opportunities to achieve – in ways that excite and interest them; make sure they are responsible and that they feel respected and included in the family unit. Let’s focus on developing our children as a whole person to enable them to be and learn at their best now, and for the rest of their lives.

Parents – you don’t need to be teachers right now, you just need to be role models. Be your best self; encourage them to be theirs.

Blog by Katie Carmichael, Career Coach