By now, most schools have opened for the second semester. As parents, there will be a mix of emotions as our children head back to the classroom – from relief to excitement, and maybe even a bit of fear of what lies ahead for the final stretch of the school year. To put your minds at ease and help you give your child a great headstart ahead of term two, #LearnOnOne spoke to some teachers to get their advice for parents to ensure a good semester for their children.
- Back to basics
Mr Norman Tivatyi, a teacher from the Sunshine Primary School stresses the importance of learners knowing the fundamentals of every subject. For learners from Early Childhood Development (ECD) level, to those in Primary School, the second semester requires consolidation in three critical areas, he says. “In Maths, number concepts should have been well developed as now the focus will be on complex processes like decimals, fractions and geometry. In English, the focus is on elements of reading as a foundational skill. For Science, the use of scientific skills to build models (working models) is critical, for example, a simple electric circuit with a light bulb that turns on.”
- Keep track of your child school activities
Be a present parent by keeping on top of all printed information sent to you, including homework and any other communication from the school. Read the emails from the school, follow all important messages on Whatsapp and check the school portal. As busy as life can get, it is crucial to make sure you don’t miss anything, especially the big announcements.
- Children should do homework independently
Teachers work hard to teach learners new ideas and ways of solving problems so it’s only fair that parents avoid completing their children’s assignments or homework. This not only strips the learner of a crucial part of independent learning, they also fail to develop problem-solving skills. Remember that teachers need children to understand the work, not the parent (unless it’s only to help).
- Encourage and foster discipline
Miriam Mutota, a Life Skills teacher at Ella Du Plessis High School says that the key to a successful semester for learners is a combination of hard work, a positive attitude and discipline. “They need to realise the importance of education, to remain positive in everything they do and utilise every second available to them.” She advises parents to encourage their children to adopt a working study timetable, to commit to it and to consider group work to complement self study.
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