May 14, 2014

Who is Responsible for a Child's Education?

I'm all kinds of fired up today over who is responsible for a child's education. It's the dreaded time for parents; the end of the school year. I'm very much looking forward to school getting out and spending some long, lazy days with my kids. You know until August when I'm counting down the days for school to start again.

But I've come to the conclusion that May sucks once your kids are in school. I'm insanely busy with conferences, IEP meetings, end of year awards/celebrations, and a dance recital. Seriously, how can there be this much slammed into such a small amount of time?

I don't know about your school, but ours tries to schedule conferences back to back. This puts you in the awkward position of overhearing a conference if the parent starts screaming at the teacher. I was seriously torn between standing outside in the heat and barging in the classroom and defending the teacher. I decided to listen instead since I'm noisy and I realized that sometimes life hands you a great blog post topic.

The parent was outraged that their child wasn't prepared for the next grade level. And the message was that it was all the teacher's fault.

Yeah no!

Now keep in mind that I'm a former teacher and being on the other side of the table is very weird for me. I was more nervous for my first parent teacher conference as a parent than as a teacher. But one thing that will never change is the fact that I firmly believe that a child's education is the responsibility of the PARENT!

Yes schools and teachers are there to be part of a child's education and they own some of the responsibility. But schools are not designed to be the only part of a child's education. Parents have to do more than drop their kids off at school and pick them up.

I'm sure that most parents understand that they are crucial to their child's school success. I'm also sure that most parents are doing their best to make sure their kids are successful in school.

It's the small percentage of parents that don't that drive me crazy! They buy into this notion that they can just outsource their kid's education to the schools and everything will be fine. It won't, I promise you.

I think outsourcing is the norm for parenting in our culture today. Our kids want to play sports so we sign them up for soccer and have someone else coach them. Dance lesson? Drop them off at the dance studio. Spirituality? Take them to church. This outsourcing is so common that so many parents forget that they are an important part of their child's education. Don't get me wrong, I outsource my daughters' dance lessons since I am clueless about dance.

But when it comes to our kids' education we can't outsource.

The end of the school year seems like a perfect time for the message about learning at home. Continue to read with your kids over the summer so they don't lose skills. Have your kids write some stories or letters to grandparents. Hit a few museums this summer and bask in their air conditioning and hands on learning experiences. Head over to Pinterest and look for easy science experiments that will interest your kids.

It's not about continuing school at home. Trust me kids need a break from school. Just don't leave learning behind for the summer.

Now for the parent who was yelling today, she finally calmed down and listened to the teacher who gave some excellent suggestions to help her child.

Parents and teachers; they must be a team for a child to succeed.


  1. I believe it is the parents responsibility too for sure!! Kids today aren't writing or reading the same way they used to. It is sad the skills are lost today because of the computer. We are a multicultural society now and this affects what is learned too! I could write a book on this subject!!

    1. I feel like I could write a book on it too.

  2. I don't think that I can love this post enough. As a former teacher/ college professor, I cannot tell you the number of parents who have called me to ask why I didn't pass their son/ daughter. Uh, because he/she didn't do any of the work or show up to class? I know my students are a little older than your kids, but the idea of entitlement starts young--so that when the student gets in college, and they fail because of something they did, their first response is to call the parents and have them complain. Ugh. Education should ALWAYS start at home. Always.

    1. I am blown away that a parent would call a college professor about their kid. WHAT? I know it's more common these days but I would never ask my mommy to deal with my problems in my college classes. And I lived at home in college. It's just mind blowing to me that kids aren't taking care of their own problems.


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