Being a parent to school-going kids these days gets increasingly challenging as the schools are expecting much more parental involvement in the assignments they give to the children. Apart from weekly show-and-tells which require parents to assist preschoolers in picking out the item to bring to school and practicing what to say with them, there is a variety of projects which we have to put in time and effort to complete with our little boys and girls.
Festive seasons demand us parents to make ornaments to decorate the school. There are also activities which need us to cook or prepare food in advance. On occasions, we put together a montage on a certain theme for the child to share about in class. We sometimes even have to grow plants with them!
I understand that educators are trying to encourage working parents to spend time with their children but for homemakers, like me, who are already doing tons of things with the children, it is rather excessive. I can only hope that as the children grow more independent, the need for such time-consuming projects which require the parent to pitch in becomes far less.
On a more serious note, I thank God that I possess the skills necessary to make these assignments a success. But what about other parents who can ill afford the time or have no idea how to help the child? Wouldn't the poor kid feel left out if he turns up for school with nothing to show? What's worse is this practice sets up certain expectations which some under-privilege families are unable to meet, such as traveling abroad, having internet access or being educated enough in certain technical know-how. I am simply not comfortable with schools highlighting such socio-economic differences on regular basis.
|Using fruit to make an animal|
|A montage about a trip overseas|
|Growing, harvesting and juicing wheatgrass|