A frustrated parent asked: how can he make his child to like the school and the answer was: make him to like his studies, and then the supplementary question was: how to make him to like his studies; the answer to that was: make him to like his school. What comes first?
There was a child, recently enrolled in a school for the first time in his life, who refused to believe that apart from a regular weekend holiday, his school could be closed for any week-day sometimes. He insisted on her mother dressing him, as usual, for the school on that day too which he was told was a national public holiday. However, he calmed down after his tearful pleading had failed. He liked the school because he was good in his studies and the school was the place he could show himself off and bask in pride in front of other children in the class.
If the child’s hand was not the only one raised on any occasion when a teacher asked questions then his would be the only one which popped up faster for fear of other possible competing hands. He knew almost all the answers to the point of virtually proving himself a nuisance to the teacher, naturally. The teacher wanted to see other students too have the self-confidence of volunteering answers as a reflection of his good broad teaching performance.
There was however, nothing miraculous about the child, who was the only one then, in the family. A few weeks prior to the anticipated enrolment of the child, the mother would regularly teach him in progressive stages exactly what he would be taught later in the school. It was from a simple basic syllabus known almost to all parents. The child too was enthusiastic because he thought that learning from the mother would qualify him for entry in the school. It would be fun to accompany the child next door, already a student and a friend, to the school.
Now, a few prior and simple lessons at home before enrolment, and a continuation of some more “prior” lessons after the enrolment, was the magic wand that created a spring-board for the child, and there was no looking back after that. Once a liking for the school is triggered it produces good results in the studies; and then one sustains the other in a healthy cycle throughout the schooling life leading, for many, to a university graduation.
The key is to appreciate the child’s natural sense of a positive competition and rivalry among the children in the class, progressing in stages each giving way to the next as follows:
Stage One: On the day of enrolment and also for a day or two thereafter, the child brings to the school his toy, the one he likes best, thinking his is the only one that exists, often without the knowledge of his parents, and proudly reveals its presence to some of the class-mates many of whom do almost the same with regard to theirs, in competition. This stage passes to usher stage two:
Stage Two: Toys lose their relevance when the child finds older students come to the school with books and pens. He now brings to the school books and pencils alright but with flashy and colorful in appearance for a show off in competition with those brought by other children.
Alphabets And Figures.
Stage Three: Subsequently the lessons start in earnest beginning with paintings of pictures and writings of alphabets and figures. Now the competition spills over into what is written (or scribbled) in the exercise books and painted (or soiled) in the drawing books by the students. Here the child who had the advantage of prior lessons at home is surprised and impressed to find that he knows to do his work in the class quicker and better than other students and attributes his own independent competing ability as the sole reason for it, which presumption is healthy as it sharpens his sense of competition.
This is the spring-board which has its effect and relevance, only if created, before the child begins his schooling life. This spring-board is simple to create for each and every child in the family so that the child reports at the school equipped with it to commence his schooling life. It has been done successfully by others whose children have been obtaining top ranks in every grade.
There has to be initiatives and personal pain on the part of the parents for sowing the seed of interest in the child about his studies before his enrolment. The seed so timely sowed will then germinate on its own and bloom into a flower with an unending fragrance throughout his schooling life. Such is the parental influence and impact on the child. No school, however good, can ever provide a substitute for this brand of spring-board.