The first step as a parent is realising that your child is not an independent learner during Foundation Phase. This implies that your child needs to be taught and helped in their learning.
The second step is to realise that your role is to teach, guide and assist your child in their educational, physical, emotional and social development. This role is critical to your child’s growth; your child cannot progress positively without your help.
The third step is acknowledging that it is vital that you work with the teacher so that your child progresses successfully through school. Homework should be guided and checked by you. If your child is battling with concepts, you should work with them until they understand the concepts and are able to work with them independently.
Foundation phase (Grades 1-3)
This phase is about developing a solid base of knowledge for your child and helping them further themselves in the school environment and life. Foundation phase is all about the basics in educational knowledge. Remember that your child has never been exposed to these concepts. They need to learn them and learn how to apply them. They need to be assisted at home to build a strong foundational knowledge that will assist them through school and later lead them to becoming independent learners. It is your job to reinforce the knowledge taught at school and to ensure that your child understands and can apply the concepts introduced by the teacher.
The parent and the teacher
The teacher’s role is to introduce and practise new concepts at school. It is your role to practise these at home, and to bring to the teacher’s attention any concepts your child cannot grasp. This is followed by a teamwork approach between the teacher and yourself. This may include extra lessons or extra work to do at home. This is time consuming but essential. The teacher cannot do this individually and relies on you as a parent to be involved in your child’s education.
The way forward
It is not always easy to follow these steps; having support from other parents is one way to assist you. You can arrange play dates where the children can do their homework and practise together. Children learn better when they are able to “play and learn” at the same time. This is also great for teamwork and study groups in future grades. Remember to try to make the activities different and interesting. Also, keep sessions short and focussed with play time or reward time afterwards.