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
@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.
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.
@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%.
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
"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
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.
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.
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.