Being parents, priorities change when a child is born. Instead of thinking about themselves, parents shift their focus on their child’s welfare. In time, education becomes the primary focus because it is the foundation of their life. At an early age, some parents start to influence their child to certain professions. But not a lot of parents realize that university education preparation begins early.
In the early years, toys and TV influence the kids’ perception of what they want to be when they grow up. By the time they are grade schoolers, they are likely to want to follow in the footsteps of their parents. But during the teenage years between 12 to 18, their sphere of awareness is wider. As such, it is likely that they have their own preferences.
It is common for parents of teenagers to begin talking about professions and future life. Some parents go as far as brainwashing their child to certain professions or universities. At any rate, most parents do that to varying degrees. In that sense, you could say that conditioning the mind for university education started early.
When talking about college entrance exam preparation, the new generation of parents realizes its importance. But many from the older generation do not seem to think so. In the old days, it was easier because of lesser competition. But times have changed and the name of the game is to get ahead of the others in getting accepted in one of the top universities in the country.
The key to doing well and getting accepted to the top universities is to excel in primary and secondary school.
Wrong Reasons for Academic Excellence
Before my kids transferred to Xavier School, I saw a horrible incident in their older school.
A mom was furious with her daughter, my son’s classmate. I saw her slap the child’s head in anger. Even if it was not hard, it was a brutal scene that played in my head again and again.
Why was the mom angry that she would do a horrible thing to a poor helpless child? It turns out she was not able to get a perfect score in one quiz, having made one mistake.
The story I shared is true and yes, it is on the extreme side. In the case of that mom, she has a fixation of perfection in academic excellence.
The reason I shared that story is because a lot of parents today are like that. There is the desire for their child to be achievers. To be clear, I also believe that most are not as vicious as the terror mom I saw. But there is pressure, that much I am sure of.
A little pressure is good, but how do parents know if they are crossing a line that the pressure becomes counterproductive?
A child’s education is not about the grades, but about the understanding. Grades is an indicator but it is not the end. Besides understanding, there are other factors that affect a child’s learning abilities and performance. These factors mental and psychological state, health, motor skills and others.
In my opinion, a child’s academic excellence is not for the benefit of the parents.
Pursuit of Academic Excellence the Right Way
Education will always be for the benefit of the child. Rather than memorizing, education is about understanding the concepts and ideas. If grades and awards are the only measures of academic excellence, then that is not going to bode well for the child.
There is truth in what author Robert Kiyosaki said about A students working for C students. That is the result of focusing too much on grades alone.
There is a right way of pursuing academic excellence, though. As adults, we understand the importance of work-life balance. For students, there has to be the right study-life balance too. The best way to do that is to ensure a healthy family environment and studying condition.
The challenge for parents of young children is making education fun. Instead of thinking about the grades, use fun activities to solidify their understanding. Furthermore, it is better to inspire a child to seek education.
Each family is unique. In as far as helping a child with lessons, not all parents could do that. This is especially true for working parents. And that is why there are tutorial centers.
Some three decades ago, the only students who needed a tutor were those who failed. Not only was it embarrassing, but some had to go through one form of ridicule or another.
Times have changed, though.
Today, tutorial centers exist for the same reason they did three decades ago. And that is to help children who have a problem with some lessons. But for the great tutorial centers, that has become a small part of their purpose today.
It is my impression from what I had seen that many of these tutorial centers have one thing in common. They focus on making the children pass their tests and quizzes. This suits the parents fine because that is the result they want to see.
But is that the right way to educate children?
The Right Tutorial Center
For children who are failing, they need the help of a tutorial center. Keep in mind, though, that the reason for failing may have a deeper root. Unless those root causes are taken care of, then poor academic performance may be a recurring issue.
Besides offering remedial packages, a great tutorial center will have other programs. For instance, there are programs to help a child understand lessons better. Furthermore, they would also have enrichment programs to maximize children’s potential.
But the most important thing of all is that the tutorial center must have teachers that can make it fun.
Online Tutorial Center
Children today loves to tinker with gadgets and computers. While language learning has become a popular online tutorial for adults, it could also be used for kids.
Not only does it offer convenience and safety, but children may find it fun to interact online with a tutor. Instead of children going to their facility, they also have online tutorial services.
Come to think of it. Children must feel cool about being able to do video conferencing while studying and learning.
University Education Preparation
Providing a child with a healthy learning environment with the right motivation, that in itself is a preparation for bigger things to come.
The end goal of education is to graduate in one of the top universities and have a choice of work. For every job advertised, there are tens or hundreds of applicants. But for those who did well in a top university in the Philippines, they choose where they want to work.
For that to happen, parents must understand that university education begins at home and all throughout early childhood education. Preparation begins early and if done well, then that means a brighter future for the child.