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Do you do extra stuff to complement your child’s education?

(37 Posts)
ZetaPuppis Mon 04-Dec-17 09:55:44

On the curriculum sheet for my child’s school, there’s a section for ‘what parents can do’ and it makes suggestion like ‘visit the V&A’, ‘See a Shakespeare play’, ‘Watch wildlife documentaries’ ‘subscribe to National Geographic’ etc.
Some of it we already do, but some of it will involve making an effort.
I’m just interested to know if other parents put effort into doing extra stuff? Like seeing a play or an exhibition of what their child is studying?

Jardindhiver Mon 04-Dec-17 10:01:10

Yes, we try to. We visit appropriate exhibitions, historic sites, practising orienteering for geography, getting hold of complementary books, etc. But we've only got one child – much harder if you've got several.

Sodaface Mon 04-Dec-17 10:15:01

Yep we do but we don’t really think about it. It’s the things we like to do anyway ie historical sites, museums, travel & of course everything Sir David Attenborough, the kids love his shows. I think it’s a great idea that the school encourages this, some parents wouldn’t think to include things like this. Everdays a learning day for us but we try and approach it in a relaxed and fun way.

Soursprout Mon 04-Dec-17 13:05:30

Yes.. but it is stuff we all like anyway .. so the kids are willing.
Ds has asd so doesn’t do loud experiences but apart from that we do quite a lot

TeenTimesTwo Mon 04-Dec-17 13:21:07

Yes we do, but mainly on the topics the DDs are interested in. So for DD1 we did stuff on History, Languages, Drama. For DD2 it will Geography, Wildlife, Cooking & Drama. (We don't go to Art galleries!)

elusiveEightHours Mon 04-Dec-17 15:07:23

In my experience most parents do all this and more without the need to be told, but then maybe I hang out with relatively educated people.

I always think it's odd that some parents see education as the responsibility of the school, and not their own responsibility. The school helps, but kids are learning all the time and the experiences they have at home are vital to the whole picture.

Love51 Mon 04-Dec-17 15:21:04

I'm really uncomfortable with being told by school what to do with my kids, which is odd because I am the sort of parent who does these sort of things anyway. Mine are under 7 though so willing to come along to anything! I don't see how you can avoid adding to your child's education, but surely it will look different in every family - eg I could cook well by 13, another child might play darts with nanna, another might be able to do decent DIY and recognise pictures by different impressionist artists. Even in the most lethargic households the children learn something from the adults, and I don't think it is school's job to determine what that is, because it depends what the individuals enjoy and value.

ZetaPuppis Mon 04-Dec-17 15:57:32

Thanks for the responses.
I agree that most parents are doing Some of the things listed but I meant specifically directly linked to what they’re studying.
Like, if they’re studying Hamlet, would you take them to see a production if there’s one on or if they’re studying, maybe Cromwell or Guy Fawkes, would you visit Houses of Parliament or somewhere notable.
The suggestions from the school are directly linked to the topics and subjects being studied.

explodingkittens Mon 04-Dec-17 16:07:04

Yes, I would and do - although as a PP said I only have the one (and live within very easy reach of central London) so it's not too difficult. Theatre especially - I think it's pretty important to see a play staged to help with understanding.

Although... we did recently take ds to see Macbeth in Japanese which was probably a step too far for all of us (he did a couple of years of Japanese at school but it really didn't help at all grin)

TeenTimesTwo Mon 04-Dec-17 16:25:32

Zeta We definitely did at primary. I remember going to the British museum twice, once when each DD was studying Egyptians.

re Hamlet, yes I would, but generally schools don't give enough notice to be able to get tickets to things in advance. So if school could tell me now what Shakespeare they will do in y9 I'd see if it was on at The Globe or Stratford next summer and get tickets ...

DivisionBelle Mon 04-Dec-17 17:59:54

Yes - I have done theatre trips for relevant texts, exhibitions, been on various trips for history, geography - they are things that we do as a family day out instead of other things, so we substitute relevant stuff rather than add stuff, if you see what I mean.

I am not heavy handed about the educationaliness of the experience, just let them absorb it and enjoy it, and we discuss it 'naturally'.

I think it ridiculous that schools now teach playscripts without taking the kids to see it on stage if at all possible.

lilybookins Mon 04-Dec-17 19:09:24

No, I don’t really do anything like that (and I live In London, very near the centre ) But perhaps as she gets older I will. Things like theatre trips are not possible financially but of course museums and many things are free.

pointythings Mon 04-Dec-17 19:09:55

We don't specifically target our activities on the curriculum, but we do a lot of stuff - mainly because DDs love it and we have always done museums, natural sciences, art and things. My mum used to teach English so we are a bookish family anyway - discussing Shakespeare and going to see performances comes naturally.

PhilODox Mon 04-Dec-17 19:35:43

Why wouldn't you though, cost aside, obviously, I appreciate that as lilybookins says that theatre trips aren't always possible, but many other things such as galleries and museums are free.

Vietnammark Mon 04-Dec-17 19:46:02

I regard the education of my child as my responsibility and one of the tools I use to achieve this is his schooling. In reality he probably spends more time with me than he does in lessons at school so I regard myself as his primary source of education, for now.

Yes, we do all of the things you mention and more, but I am in the enviable position that I have the resources to allow us to do so. Obviously many people are not in this position and or have other priorities.

BubblesBuddy Mon 04-Dec-17 19:54:50

I know plenty of people who could do all these things but don’t bother. We did as much as we could to widen their knowledge of the curriculum. It also stimulates other interests on the way.

iseenodust Mon 04-Dec-17 20:00:39

We're keen on wildlife so do activities related to that. Been to a variety of museums incl those in London but mainly in school holidays so not directly tied to curriculum. I guess we're just about showing what is out there. DS recently said he has had enough culture for the year. grin

nobutreally Mon 04-Dec-17 20:04:45

The dcs get homework’s (esp for humanities) that encourage this - it’s never required, but often an easy route to house points to go to the science museum and look at volcanos or whatever (30-40 mins to the museums from where we live) Yes, I do encourage it, although we’ve not yet managed to tie in a theatre trip. Our half term trip to Rome after ds had been especially inspired by Roman history (with a little help from Rick Riodan!) was maybe something that won’t happen too often though!

BarbarianMum Mon 04-Dec-17 22:16:10

Yes all the time, and always have. But we dont need the school to recommend it, we are the sort of family whose idea of a good day out is a museum/exhibition/ aquarium/visit to a roman ruin (ie we're nerds).

roundaboutthetown Mon 04-Dec-17 23:08:26

Yes, of course, but not because the school recommends it. If my children are learning something at school and I see that there is something going on outside of school that could expand on that learning in an interesting way, bring it to life, make it seem more relevant to the world outside of school, increase their interest generally in the subject, or spark enough enthusiasm for them to pursue things further for themselves, then I will do it with them. It's not like it's work - it's entertainment, so far as I'm concerned.

BackforGood Mon 04-Dec-17 23:31:55

If I noticed that a production of something my dc were studying for GCSE or A level were on locally, then yes, I'd encourage them to go, but I wouldn't specifically go to museums or whatever with them. It is difficult enough to find a space in the week / weekend to touch base with them, let alone go to a museum, which wouldn't really be their first choice of 'things to do on a rare Saturday when I haven't got another commitment'.
Don't get me wrong, we did lots of that when they were younger, but as teens, they already have lots of other things going on outside school, to fit in around homework, sleep, and a bit of socialising.

gleegeek Mon 04-Dec-17 23:46:51

We did when dd was younger. Had membership of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, National Trust, Wisley etc. We went to lots of museums, galleries, farms as that's what we enjoyed doing as a family and there seemed lots of time together to fill with days out.
Sadly now dd is 14 it's much harder to persuade her to come on days out as she has so much homework and other activities which fill her time. We do send her on every possible school trip though and have kept up the NT membership which we use a lot in the holidays. She no longer really watches TV, so doesn't see David Attenborough stuff very often which is a shame. However she does a lot of following stuff online and comes to talk about it with us, so we're still communicating!

weeonion Tue 05-Dec-17 14:05:39

yep - we do. once we get her lost of topics etc ( she is primary 6) then we look at outings / plays/ exhibitions etc to support that. she is covering the Titanic next term and we have our visit to the Titanic Visitor centre booked for during our festive holidays.

Stompythedinosaur Tue 05-Dec-17 14:30:38

Yes we absolutely do this. Time and money permitting I don't see why you wouldn't.

ridinghighinapril Tue 05-Dec-17 14:35:07

We do tons of things with the kids, if the school happens to suggest ideas for trips linked to topics then we would do it as it gives us a way narrowing the wealth of activities out there (we live in London). Same for documentaries, books etc.
We love it, the kids love it!

What I don't love is homework that is a trip somewhere (however short) followed by a piece of related work, all to be done within a limited time frame!

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