To teach the future generations is such an honour and at the same time a great responsibility. We cannot have narrow view of education to mean literacy and numeracy competences alone.
As more and more parents are needing to work, a vacuum is created in some aspects of the child’s healthy development. That vacuum is compounded as more and more grandparents are also working well beyond their age of retirement. This means the child is left to be raised by carers who are not a family member. Granted, some carers could be better trained to look after these children than most parents (as parents don’t need to qualify to raise a child), there’s also the risk of a child being brought up by carers who may not be as attentive to the child’s needs as a parent or grandparent could be.
Both parents needing to work means the children of today are growing up with parents who are tired and stressed after a long day at work. Patience often runs thin in these situations, and children could end up bearing the brunt of the parents’ releasing the pressure of the day’s stresses and frustrations.
To be healthy, whole, well adjusted, the child needs unconditional love alongside discipline. For discipline to be done in a healthy way the adult needs to have the child’s best interest at heart, and not lash out because of frustration and impatience due to tiredness.
It has been my experience that when we are tired and stressed it becomes more difficult to be patient, compassionate and thoughtful about our actions. It can also be difficult to be mindful and intuitive about what the child really needs, or is trying to communicate through their tantrums.
Perhaps allocating a period during school hours for students to do their homework, rather than doing them at home would be a more practical way of ensuring they have support and supervision. This would also greatly reduce the stress at home, especially for working parents.
Another option would be to abolish homework altogether in primary, and much less homework for high school – as it’s been done in Finland (please see the documentary below).
Families do need to have a more relaxed time with each other, and this would be possible when the pressures and stresses of the day end the minute work and school has ended.
We need to take a look at the teaching methods of the world’s top ranking students and education system found in Finland. Their students in senior high school do no more than 20 minutes of revision – as one student said “When you have fully understood the lesson you don’t need to keep studying it, you only need to revise it once”.