Those Who Can, Teach: When Mom Needs Orientation
To date, I feel like my oldest daughter’s education was under control. She has had amazing teachers and a wonderful school to guide her. I have supported where I could with flash cards, reviewing letter sounds, minor addition problems and practice reading very simple books. That got us through kindergarten.
This was the first year that we have not had a formal orientation from the school. This is the first year they didn’t make me sit in her desk and explain to me the flow of the classroom and when she goes to recess. And, this is the first year I actually need to be orientated!
This is the first year of “big kid” school. This is the first year of tests, homework that doesn’t include crayons and report cards. This is the year she transitions from sitting at a table of her peers to an individual desk. This is the year she has to start developing those study skills.
So how do I help her? Where is my orientation?
We are a few weeks into 1st grade; I feel totally unprepared to support her. I know it is just first grade, but when the test schedules started to come home and the homework assignments started flowing, I quickly felt overwhelmed.
I have NO idea on how to teach a 1st grader. If I had any kind of teaching skills, I would have been a teacher. So, when the first list of spelling words came home and the assignment pad said math test on Thursday, I was trying not to panic.
I am looking for the right balance of telling her how important tests are without freaking her out. I am looking for tips and tricks to help her remember the letters that make up words. I am trying to figure out how she learns best. I am trying to keep her focused on homework when she really doesn’t understand its importance. I am trying to get excited about the cool new things she is learning.
I am also hoping that I am telling her the same way to do things that the teacher is at school. I have multiple memories of my parents trying to explain something to be in a much different way than the teacher did, and I was left even more confused. I don’t want to do more damage than good.
I want my orientation!
Help me with skills on the right way to study with her. Or, how to pump up her confidence before a test. It is only first grade and she has so far to go. I want us to get started on the right foot. I want some insight on how teaching works.
This is just another milestone in parenting where I need to learn too. I need to learn these new skills of how to support her as she grows. We have overcome so many milestones to make it to six years old, and we will get through this one too. But in the meantime, I will continue to fear when the weekly assignment sheet comes out and hold my breath when she comes home with test papers.