What influences have you had in your life that you have transferred to the life of your children and their education?
My mother was always big on us getting our education, but she never insisted that we had to go to Uni. She let us follow our path as long as we got there with a good education, commitment, determination and two feet on the ground, and this I plan to carry on to my son. He is an 8-year-old Go Kart driver. His dream is to become a F1 driver. I believe that no dream is too big as long as you always have a backup plan. Me and my husband support him in any way we can, on one condition: he needs to keep up with his schoolwork.
With high importance placed on literacy for a child’s educational development, what aspects of reading to a child do you think is most important?
Definitely intonation. If they hear you read, they will know what reading is supposed to be like and what is expected of them. This way they are more likely to copy and follow in your footsteps.
What particular book genre do you believe are lacking in the 5-10y year-old age bracket?
Magazine like books. Things that interest them. Not all children are into stories. Mine likes to read about things he likes, Like go karts, racing, past driving legends….. You can most definitely find these, but they are far from appropriate for his age bracket. They are too hard and monotonous for his age and that is why they resort to seeing videos as they are easily accessible and understandable.
As a mother and professional, how do you find the time to ensure that your child gets some reading time in?
I fit in reading time for myself. Being a book lover, it comes naturally but obviously finding the time is hard. When I sit down with a book, he is intrigued and wants to do the same. Even for the sake of bonding. Visiting book fairs together and sounding exciting to do so gets them excited as well and looking forward to seeing what they can find. Ask questions before like: ‘What do you wish to find?’ ‘What sort of subjects are you looking for?’. These questions can get their creative juices flowing and also makes them think and reflect on what they like and what they can find.
I also find that showing them why I like books can make them appreciate the beauty of it, like the smell of the paper of a new book. The latest model of kindle cannot give you that experience.
How did motherhood change the way you viewed the importance of education?
Before I had Morgan, I was working in insurance. It was a lifelong dream to become a teacher, but life took me somewhere else. I remember from a very young age imagining working as a teacher and having my kids at the same school. I know, a pretty weird thing to imagine but I did. Dreaming of schools, I would want my son to go before him even being born. That is how important I viewed his education life. I had a very good experience at school, one I will cherish all my life and I wanted my son to have the same. I wanted him to go to a school where he belongs, where values were as important as the education he was getting. A place that he can call home even when he is past his secondary years, and I thank our lucky stars that it is in a place where all this is possible. It is now his job to make the most out of it.
What is the one thing you would like to see implemented in schools today?
More creativity in lessons. The children are very stimulated with all of the technology around them so planning a lesson which they find interesting can be a challenge but with the right tools and dedication, teachers can make learning fun and enjoyable. Take them out of the classroom, it is the teacher and the students that make a class and not the Walls that surround it. Keep them on their toes guessing what is next and what and where will the lesson take us today. Curiosity is a healthy component to have to make them want to learn more. This will change the way they look at learning for the years to come.
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