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Comments about ‘Mormon Parenting: Who is in charge of kids’ education? You!’

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Published: Friday, June 21 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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elarue
NEW YORK, NY

While on one hand, I agree with the principle that parental involvement can bolster children's learning prospects, I'm always nervous about hearing this principle advanced as part of some sort of pseudo-libertarian anti-government agenda, and using Phil Bryant as an example doesn't help. If we really want to have parents in the home more often, we need to work on fixing the economy to make the 99% prosper again so that we can have parents in the home more often, and we need to bolster the labor movement so that parents of both genders are flexible to both work and spend time with their children. I work, and my wife stays with our son, but it pains me to know that I can't spend more time with my son, while my wife goes crazy sometimes that she can't get out of the apartment. An economy more favorable to the middle class and the labor demographic would fix that. (Which begs the question: why are members of the church still voting for conservative anti-middle class politicians?)

fowersjl
Farmington, Utah

@elarue,
You have to be kidding. Have you been paying attention to what is happening to the middle class these past few years under the Obama administration?
As to the article itself, the authors hit it spot on. As a longtime teacher in the public schools, the kids who did well had involved parents, parents who showed up for conferences, volunteered, etc., and most of those families had a mother in the home full-time. That is the answer to our education woes. A parent with a book, reading to a child, cannot be replaced by all the money, computers, fancy curriculum, etc.

Abbygirl
East Carbon, UT

If Utahn's don't wake up to Common Core, and the evil therein, they won't have any rights in their children education at all. I suggest you read up on this Socialist curriculum and what it will do to Utah's children and families. Wake up Utah to the awfulness of your situation.

elarue
NEW YORK, NY

@fowersjl - As a matter of fact, yes I have been paying attention to what's been happening during the past few years under the Obama administration, which is a continuation, if not an acceleration, of the erosion of power of the middle class that started under Reagan. I have seen how the current House leadership under John Boehner has been working to dismantle protections of the middle class and thwart further protections of the middle class, which is why I support putting Nancy Pelosi back in power. It's why I was disappointed in Harry Reid for not standing up to Mitch McConnell more strongly. And it is why, instead of voting for Obama a second time, I voted for Jill Stein, who would have been a true defender of the middle class against the Romneyesque defenders of the 1%.

AnnM
Plano, TX

Education is a passion of mine. My parents raised me to value education and encouraged me to get as much as I could. I have a masters degree and work in the health field. I raised my children with the same values. I work full time. I did go over homework, helped with science projects, etc. Yes, it was hard to juggle work and family, but not impossible. My kids learned to do homework on their own the best they could and THEN ask for help with what they couldn't figure out. When their learning passed mine, I found mentors who were experts in the subjects they were interested in. My paycheck goes to their college education so they can attend debt free. They have earned scholarships, and work at jobs to help. How disappointed I am to read that a working mother is not as good as a stay at home one for encouraging children's education. I wholeheartedly disagree. A mother needs to VALUE education, then she will instill it in her kids. Whether or not she works outside the home. Maybe the authors understanding is a cultural one? Is this the prevailing thought among Utah Mormons?

AnnM
Plano, TX

"Of course, the problem is that, particularly when both parents work full-time, doing all this for a child seems nearly impossible." I think this is where the article went off track. It may seem impossible to some, but if involvement in children's education is a priority, it is not impossible. Scheduling homework review and study time with kids after work is doable. I took time off work for teacher conferences. I even judged school science fairs at teacher request. Summer provided opportunity for educational camp experiences my children choose. My children respected and learned from my example of study, research, and yes, work. They learned it can be fun, and would help them be successful.

sshoaf
indianapolis, IN

Parental involvement does matter. Whether or not a mother works outside the home does not matter. I have four kids, ranging in age from 20 to 8. All are good students and I've always worked. I've been involved in their education and voluteered at their schools for various projects, including being PTO president twice. The best thing you can do for your kids is let them know that education matters to you. You do that by making sure they do homework before they do anything else, attending parent-teacher conferences, maintaining contact with teachers throughout the year and volunteering in the schools as much as possible. You set standards for grades. You enlist the help of teachers and tutors if a real problem crops up. It is not easy but it is doable, even if you work.

On the flip side of this issue is that I've known plenty of stay-at-home moms who do not stress education, ensure that homework gets done or get involved in their child's education in any way. Consequently, those kids aren't doing well in school.

AnnM
Plano, TX

Amen sshoaf! Aren't we all tired of the stay-at-home vs. working mom divisiveness? A much better article could have focused on strategies and ideas to be more involved in kids education - or how to help kids value education, or how to get kids excited about learning, or how to work with teachers and school. There are lots of ideas I am sure that go beyond just "if you have the choice to stay home and not work, do that..." I'll bet stay at home moms would have benefitted from an article with these ideas just as much. I'll bet you have some excellent ideas that you did with your kids. Other stay at home moms probably do too.

sshoaf
indianapolis, IN

AnnM...I'd love to see more articles about strategies about how to help our children learn, especially on how to make the public school system work for you. Both types of moms could surely benefit from an article like that.

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