To think you as a parent are responsible for your child’s education.

(191 Posts)
washingmachines4 Wed 22-Sep-21 23:02:34

To think you as a parent are responsible for your child’s education.

I have always considered myself the primary educator of my child, manners, shapes, ABC, 123, speech, reading and over time that evolves into fractions, telling the time and so forth. I view any education at school as a bonus, to my mind I want them socialising and learning how to interact with others well when they are there. There are times I have failed, my husband and I said we were going to be a multilingual family and bring up our kids with English, Spanish and Chinese – we didn’t learn Spanish and Chinese so fell at that hurdle.
That said, I wouldn’t consider allowing them to go to any old school, before we had children we moved house and one of the criteria for me was that we were in a catchment for multiple good schools. Things can change, we could have got unlucky, in the 5 years after moving before they started school they all could have gone downhill, unlikely but possible, in which case we would have moved again. An acquaintance of mine says this is insane but will always justify sending her kid to the closest school rather than moving to be near the best school for her kid. She also thinks the school is to blame that her child failed the national phonics test in year 1 – she has never once read with her kid, ‘that is the teachers job’ and actively discourages him from reading – makes comments he wants to feel better than others, brainbox – proper nightmare Matilda’s parents style. She is an extreme example but the responsibility is ours right? (For reference, I work full time but try and make learning as time efficient/fun as possible – eg. Got a CD of all the times tables in a song to put in the car so whenever we travel to do something we sing the song of the times tables they are learning that week) etc.

OP’s posts: |
Lasttimeneveragain Wed 22-Sep-21 23:07:18

There is a middle ground here OP.

I agree that you should encourage your children as best as you can. But not everyone has the income to move to the best schools, not everyone is academically inclined., not everyone has the time to spend doing hours of extra curricular activities each day.

GoldenOmber Wed 22-Sep-21 23:09:18

Not quite following you. You think you should be the primary educator of your child and view time at school as a bonus, mainly for learning to socialise with others - but also, you’d rather move house than have them go to ‘any old school’? Wouldn’t they get that socialising the same at any old school?

cloudacious Wed 22-Sep-21 23:10:20

There's something very privileged about this post. School was created partly because many parents aren't equipped to discharge this responsibility so demanding that of them is harsh and unrealistic. There's a lot more to maths than playing the times tables in the car so it sounds like you're supporting the teaching wonderfully but not carrying that responsibility as such. All that having been said, I agree that parents should do as much as they have the capacity to do and that is much more than many of them think.

HugeAckmansWife Wed 22-Sep-21 23:10:57

Sorry no. I think your friend is wrong too but the right answer is balance. I'm a teacher. I have two degrees. I could teach my kids maths beyond simple numeracy, percentages and some geometry. I read to them when they were tiny and still do but I'm not a phonics expert and left that to their teachers. I need my students' parents to be supportive, provide quiet space, attention and time, hear them read, read to them etc but not actually teach them.

621CustardCream438 Wed 22-Sep-21 23:16:21

Yes, well done and congratulations OP on winning at parenting. Special sticker in the post.

There’s something unbearably smug about this post, and I say that as someone who probably leans closer to your views than those of your acquaintance.

Theoldprospector Wed 22-Sep-21 23:16:54

It depends what you mean by education.

Only a tiny fraction of what we learn by 18 comes from school, so ultimately education is down to parents and broader society more than it is to school.

And it is a joy to have children for that reason; you get to see the world through new eyes.


spotcheck Wed 22-Sep-21 23:18:24


Yes, well done and congratulations OP on winning at parenting. Special sticker in the post.

There’s something unbearably smug about this post, and I say that as someone who probably leans closer to your views than those of your acquaintance.


converseandjeans Wed 22-Sep-21 23:19:52

I think it's somewhere in the middle of what you are doing & your friend is doing.

I think parents should teach key skills like measuring for baking, nature, tying laces etc.

I don't think parents should teach phonics and fractions. What they can do is support school by making sure they do home learning tasks & have a stress free life where they are able to function well.

Unfortunately not all parents are equipped to do these things. Life is hard for some parents & they may be willing but don't know how or simply have too much going on in life to do this.

MorriseysGladioli Wed 22-Sep-21 23:21:47

I think it's a parents role to to teach the basics; using cutlery, manners, counting, dressing themselves.
I'm happy to support the school in the more advanced stuff.

lnsufficientFuns Wed 22-Sep-21 23:22:01

Well, for a start I’d recommend leaving paragraph construction to the school OP


converseandjeans Wed 22-Sep-21 23:22:06

We are both teachers & DH taught both children - but they never covered school work at home with him.

00100001 Wed 22-Sep-21 23:23:26

You need to teach your kids basics like manners, life skills like how to cross a road.

And then with school stuff, support them
But there's literally no need to teach them

Bloodymess Wed 22-Sep-21 23:28:04

My comments are about more academic skills such as reading etc. I think parents are responsible to teach children that learning either in school, home school or just generally through play and socially is valuable. To get children to school on time or provide activities if home Ed, help them get their things the evening before, be proud when a teacher says their child tried hard in class.

(Parents may not if they had bad experiences of it or due to circumstances such as abuse did not get the chance. Society as a whole including formal like school also informal like friends or famous people promoting learning may help children/parents.)

Beyond that it very much depends on resources-
financial - not everyone can move or buy resources or even get to a library
own ability such as literacy
Time - it may be harder if working long hours and that may be only way to pay rent rather than a genuine choice

Clymene Wed 22-Sep-21 23:30:59

The idea that you can learn two languages to a level of fluency where you can teach it to others in your spare time is hilarious.

I teach my children about stuff I know about. Coastal erosion or nuclear fission I leave to the people who've studied that stuff to degree level.

ichundich Wed 22-Sep-21 23:31:02

I think you have totally failed as parents for not bringing your kids up trilingual 😂.

vincettenoir Wed 22-Sep-21 23:31:06

I agree that the role parents play in laying the foundations for their child’s education is extremely important.

But your post is a bit confused because you are not clear in your own mind about what your expectations from a school are.

And your central premise, that it should be primarily down to parents to provide an education for their child, is short sighted. You must have a narrow frame of reference if you think that could work.

Kite22 Wed 22-Sep-21 23:31:24

Didn't know which way to vote, as I do believe that 'education' is so much wider than school and I do believe that the biggest influence on how well a child achieves is down to all sorts of factors about their parents, and not the school they go to.
However I also agree that you are writing from a position of great privilege. I am torn between wondering if you really are that smug or if you are just really ignorant of the lives of the majority of people.

The idea that you are implying here

I wouldn’t consider allowing them to go to any old school, before we had children we moved house and one of the criteria for me was that we were in a catchment for multiple good schools

clearly isn't an option for the overwhelming number of parents in society, and of course, if it were, then it still wouldn't be as we couldn't all live in that same tiny proportion of houses.

Of course your friend is at the other extreme.
There are many, many places in the middle.
I would see introducing my dc to a wide variety of music as being far more valuable (and much more fun) than only letting them listen to times tables, for example.

sst1234 Wed 22-Sep-21 23:34:42

Yes parents have a big responsibility but saying it loud is considered ‘privileged’ and ‘out of touch’ because taking responsibility for your own children is so last century. For many, It’s everyone else’s responsibility to educate, discipline, clothe and feed their children. Not theirs.

MorriseysGladioli Wed 22-Sep-21 23:35:10

Mine goes to the closest school because I don't think getting up at 6am and riding a bike through rush hour traffic is conducive to arriving in the best frame of mind.

secular39 Wed 22-Sep-21 23:35:10

I think pps on here are very harsh to the OP. Having worked in many mainstream schools, reading OP's comments is not surprising. However, I predominantly work with children with special educational needs so my opinion may not be reflective of the whole population.

I work across three secondary schools and many children start off in year 7 having the reading age of below 6. Not only that, I've met many students, who have difficulties with spelling, forming narratives, losing track in fast paced lessons. I regularly do to teachers meetings and 10/10 of a child
Is not performing well, they blame the parents.

I am a firm believer that you cannot rely on a school to help your child, no offence, but your child is just another pupil/a number in your class. You may be lucky to get a good teacher who pushes you and gathers supports for your needs. However, they have 30 children to worry about and are incredibly overworked as it.

I understand that parents comes from different backgrounds and beliefs, which may hinder their ability to not only recognise but to support their children. Academics is not everything, it's good to teach life skills, being compassionate etc. But being a competent at reading and writing (academically speaking) is essential in my opinion.

I did have a friend who was complaining about the school, that her child was not progressing, I did advice her to seek tutoring (she had the number- a lot!) but refused as she said it was the schools job. Honestly, I found her a drain to be around anyway.

But to answer your last question, would I move to get my child into the best school, it depends on many factors, if we are talking about children with special needs, yes I would do it as there's hardly any schools around that cater to them- let alone good ones. However, I do believe being nearer to family and being a part of the community (not so much) is important and I wouldn't want my children to miss out- that's if I had the choice

Goneroundthetwist Wed 22-Sep-21 23:35:17

I think you’ve lost the plot…. My kids have fun when they’re not at school. Anything they learn while doing this is a bonus. I’m surprised they are not completely fed up…. You will put them off by the time their 10. Let them have some bloody fun.

Clymene Wed 22-Sep-21 23:42:13

@secular39 are you implying that children with SEN would be fine if their parents weren't just such lazy arses? Because that's what it sounds like.


WellLarDeDar Wed 22-Sep-21 23:44:54

OP I think you should give your kids teachers a bit more credit!

621CustardCream438 Wed 22-Sep-21 23:48:36

“I think pps on here are very harsh to the OP.”

I don’t disagree with the basic premise. But I think the OP just posted about this in the hope of forty pages of people telling them what a marvellous job they’re doing and of course their “acquaintance” was in the wrong, what an awful parent they must be. It’s just a bit off.

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