Thursday, August 21, 2008

Were You Aware Of A "Hidden Curriculum" At Your Childs School?

My son will be starting Kindergarten next Thursday so I have been reading up on different blogs about "The First Day" and so forth and I ran upon an article from White Trash Mom

I found it to be interesting. Now I would think this would be very easy to do anyway if you would an active parent in your child's school which is a real goal of mine. But I know sometimes that is not always possible. So now you got a heads up as to how thing work behind the scenes.

Letter to Kindergarten Moms from White Trash Mom

My friend Erin and Jenny both had children that started Kindergarten in the last few days. Kindergarten is big for parents because it's a milestone that officially says your child is no longer a "pre-schooler", you are the parent of a "school-age" kid from now on.

The Kindergarten milestone undid me because it made me realize just how much of my daughter's life I had been working full time+ and how I could not get that time back. My mother was ill at the same time my oldest daughter started Kindergarten so it was a very emotional year for me, mom passed away when Grace was in Kindergarten, so it was a year of me talking about motherhood and resolving to do it differently.

Anyway, I've been meaning to send my "Kindergarten" moms a note or email this week but naturally, since I am a WT mom, I haven't done it yet. But here are a few tips to help guide you through the early part of this transitional time. You'll live but it's pretty scary when you send your oldest one to Kindergarten for the first time. Here are some quick guidelines to read before the ice cream social or parent coffee meeting:

1.Once your kids are in "real" school, you need to bring a little more to the game of parenting.

It used to be that moms dropped off their kids and that was it. In today's world of high powered parenting, you need to have a healthy perspective BUT you also must realize that working with the school community is like a new part of your parenting job. Look at it as a new requirement for your degree as a "mom".

2.Do your homework on the teachers, school community----as you would a new job or class.
I was a C+ student. For example, I got better grades by doing "re-con" on various college classes and teachers to find out:

  • Who graded easy on tests?
  • Which classes had Friday's off?
  • Is it possible to sleep in class?

Once your kids are in school, you need to approach your new parenting requirements with the zeal of a C+ student. Finding out the "lay of the land" from other parents will help YOU help your CHILD.

3.Real science stuff, not just WT Mom proof in my advice=Hidden Curriculum

Richard Lavoie is a very smart educator who introduced me to the concept of the "Hidden Curriculum". It sounds very sinister but it's not. It's just a philosophy based on a very key research study about school communities. "Hidden Curriculum" is the idea that the UNWRITTEN RULES AND NORMS of a school community are even more powerful than the WRITTEN rules and norms for the school community. The biggest difference in your job as a parent with a school age child is to find out the "HC" and then help your child navigate the waters of the school community.

Part 2 of this post is later today. I must go up to the elementary school, taking my youngest daughter and friend to see who their teachers are for next year. Note: This is a perfect example of the "HC"----the school ice cream social is this evening, the event that is supposed to be when all the teachers are announced to kids. In reality, the school posts the class lists in the afternoon, hours before the ice cream event, so all the families go an peek at the list early. No one ever wrote this down, it's just what is done.

Let's be careful out there campers! Good LUCK!

Just a note I remember it is Tantalizing Thursday. I will post it later today I have a job interview at 2 will be back.

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1 comment:

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

I never thought sending kindergartens to school could be that complicated. I just send my youngest kid through her service vehicle and that's just it. I have never been good at interacting with teachers and other parents. In fact, I don't usually attend PTA meetings. Sorry Tammy that I got a failing grade here. He, he, he, *lol* How I wish you could teach my kids the finer points of schooling. Thanks for the informative post. God bless you always.