Four quick suggestions for parents with children in education, or parents in education. I presently teach at three different institutions: 7th, 8th, and 9th graders at a classical tutorial, 20-22 year old college students, and a wide range from 20-60 years of age at the seminary. That gives me enough interaction with parents during a week of work that one would need for a semester. It does not matter if I am dealing with the parent of a student, or a parent themselves in my class, the same issues occur. Maybe they will be of some help.
1. Be Diligent, not Demanding – Work from the beginning to the end of the year with your child and the teacher, and not only show up when you have something to complain or worry about. A harping parent, leads to a harping student.
2. Be Responsible, not Lackadaisical – Accept your role as the parent and make education a priority in your home, and stop expecting the teacher, tutor, or professor to do everything for your child’s growth. You the parent have to work too.
3. Be Attentive, not Absent – Stop your child immediately when bad behavior appears. Show him or her what to do and provide an opportunity
to do it correctly. Discipline should be appropriate and consistent. If there comes a time you take the day off from working with your child, they will understand they as well can take days off from their education.
4. Be Precise, not Vague – Provide clear, detailed, and direct instructions. I find parents expecting much from their child, yet failing to convey to them exactly what they expect for them in education.
If you are looking to fail within your classical model, here are five ways to be sure that you will drive your school into the ground.
5. Use your “Christian” school as a means of evangelism.
4. Place teachers into positions that are out of their studied field of education.
3. Allowing a church to rule over your school, and dictate those who are hired.
2. A headmaster who acts as a dictator, and not a servant.
1. Allowing “helicopter” parents to get their way.