I might only have eight months worth of a Mummy CV but I have a good eight years worth of teaching experience and I'm yet to find better advice than that which I am about to share with you.
Those three torturess years at university training to be a teacher, the hours of lengthy lectures and the reams of paper really taught me, well...not very much in comparison to what I learned by actually just talking to parents and families on the door at school. Teaching starts at home, of that I am convinced. Combined with the fact that children are born ready to learn and have ready made teachers from their very first breath who should give them a superb head start in life. But that all depends on the teacher. I'm sure you can cast your minds back to a few teachers from your own education, perhaps you're sure their words come back to haunt you or maybe they left such an impression on you that they're part of who you've become today? There are teachers that tell, teachers that show and then there are teachers that involve. A child is like a sponge, ready to soak up the very last drops of anything that can feed their enthusiasm and help them to grow. They're also mini private investigators closely observing your every move, noting your tone and facial expression and even your body language. If you just tell them all day long, what do you expect them to learn or if you simply show them everything, how will they ever learn to explore and have a go for themselves? But, if you get involved together almost as if you're going on a new and exciting adventure, perhaps you'll both learn lots of new and exciting things about yourselves, about each other and about the world.
Being a clever clogs isn't always about extra this and extra that, a tutor for this and a revision book for that. Sometimes it's about creating a moment, asking that question, finding out together, reading a bedtime story, talking about your emotions and getting stuck in to whatever it may be together. There will come a time when the only thing for your unruly, rebellious teenager is to create that revision timetable on Microsoft Publisher, print it out, laminate it and stick it all around the house. But for now, right now, why not just get your hands dirty? Explore. Create. Imagine. You can travel the world and stay sat on your sofa, all you need is a little imagination, a child who is willing to learn and a grown up who is genuinely interested. And, just like you could tell the 'winging-it' teachers from the 'miss-honey' teachers, your child will too be able to spot the difference.
Just like your favourite pizza, clever comes with a variety of bases and endless variations of toppings. You and your child can choose - together. For me and mine, we'll have a stable house shaped base with a crust stuffed with fun and lashings of love, a smothering of stories, pieces of play and a sprinkle of spontaneity on top. Mmmm delicious.