Long before I set foot into kindergarten, I knew how to write days of the week, months of the year and count numbers up to a thousand. I also knew how to write most of the basic words like table, carpenter and church, and read Tom and Mary books. All thanks to my father.

If you would want to meet the most enthusiastic parent, who respects education and its ideals, then it is my father. He gave us a foothold in the world of education from the very foundations of it. He created a consistent supplementary homeschooling, featuring sit in sessions of mandatory dictations and writing.

I grew up in Nandi Hills and we were under very strict rules. My father set up a 6 PM curfew. Everybody was to be around the table from this time reading, as we waited for him to join. Though we detested the curfews and the stringent rules, now we can understand it was a reflection of his concern for our safety and long term well being. And which helped us to experience structure.

My father has always wanted us to achieve what he did not achieve himself. Instead of preaching water while drinking wine, he stepped up to do something about it. With time, we became interested in learning because he was interested, and that interest rubbed off.

In a society where parents do not bother to attend school meetings, discuss exam results with their kids, check their books, teach them; a society where kids stuff report cards under chairs or wash them in pockets, where nobody bothers to monitor and remind kids to revise at night and on holidays, my dad proved otherwise.

He attended all school meetings, signed whatever was to be signed, photocopied whatever was to be photocopied, filled what was to be filled, commented where it was necessary, reprimanded where it was due, checked our books, questioned blank pages, led dictations – he is the one who taught me days of the week and months of the year even before I begun kindergarten.

As I gracefully navigate my semi-adult life, there are lessons exemplified by my dad, and which the progressive generation can learn. Your child’s education, is not something you would leave up to fate. Its not something to entrust entirely in the hands of school teachers, majority of whom are not motivated enough to teach with zeal.  

Is this generation going to do what my dad did ? Life has advanced so far, and become so complex, that even the most ordinary parents require a great deal of wealth to lead a family to a direction that even approaches completeness. Meaning, parents will dedicate most of their time to jobs in order to achieve that objective.

Again, there is temptation by ‘modern’ parents to support in the conflating of purpose and meaning of education with glamour, entertainment and fashion, will there be a place for real parental coaching like my father did?

It seems obvious to say but parents play a huge role in their child’s education. Thy are a child’s first and most important teacher, they are important educational resources. Their support is crucial factor to really get the best out of them. Only with their participation can wonderful results be achieved.

cover photo credits : http://blog.patashule.com/the-future-of-african-languages-in-education/

Post credits : https://mosesaumaspeakssite.wordpress.com/

Lots of love,

Ruguru Kimani