How do moms manage to oversee their children’s schooling while working? For most moms, they say it is a major production and requires planning and managing your time efficiently. As a mother’s involvement in a child’s learning is very valuable, a mom should find ways to apply smart study tips without the extra stress. We asked how real-life moms do it, and here are their answers:
1. Start with a common goal. “Have a common goal for the year. The goal must be agreed on between the child and (both) parents (with the help of the teachers/coaches/mentors),” Kath Patawaran, a mother of three young boys, shares. She explains that the parent might want the child to excel in academics while the child might want to focus on sports, but talking about these points will help everyone start the year on a common ground.
2. Decide on the negotiables and non-negotiables. Dr. Therese Pascual, a mommy to three children (Catherine, 13; John, 7; and Marie Therese, 4), shares that, “The kids can have 5-minute breaks if they get tired while studying, but homeworks should be done, along with some advanced reading, so they can be ready for the next lesson.” She adds that the earlier the kids start with their homework, the earlier they can sleep. Ninna Espiritu, mommy to 7-year-old Jacob, explains that, “I let my son play and watch TV after school. My belief is that he will be more receptive during study time if he gets to unwind and enjoy first. I aim for a good balance of work and play.” Joyce Obena, mom to 6-year old Derek, agrees that kids should enjoy their childhood and so she lets her son have breaks during the weekends by playing and watching TV.
3. Develop a study schedule with your child. Geraldine Clemente, mom to 11-year old Angel, suggests to “sit down with the child to make a study schedule. Give priority and more time for the subjects she has difficulty in.” Mommy Joyce agrees that developing discipline in studying is achieved by setting a specific time. Mommy Kath adds, “the schedule must be in tune with that of the rest of the family to avoid conflict, lessen surprises and distractions.” Hannah Faustino, an interior designer and mommy to 8-year-old Timmy, shares, “since I go to work, I check my son’s homework when I get home before dinner and review him if there are topics that are unclear to him.”
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4. Do your own homework. Lala Bolintiam, a mommy of three (Jetri, 8; Jacob, 4; and Jim, 2 years old) shares, “know your kid’s lessons so you can discuss it in a fun way even when you’re not home, e.g., in the car or at the mall or park.” According to Michelle Dee, mom to 7-year old Denise, she looks through her daughter’s notebooks even if there are no tests or homework. Mommy Geraldine adds, “Read through the subject outlines given at the beginning of the quarter so you can do advanced reading, or look for additional information about a particular topic.”
5. Make your own references. Mommy Ninna shares, “I take digital pics of my son’s schoolbooks so I have my own reference while he is in school. I also make a copy of the topics to be covered for each subject, so I always have an idea of what we will be reviewing.” Mommy Therese adds, “ I make drills at work during my break. I usually make my own but if I am really strapped for time I get from lessons provided at some websites.” Patty Gomez-Brazal, a teacher and mommy to Patrice, 6; and Patrick, 4 years old, suggests to tap online resources as references in making worksheets for your children. Mommy Joyce shares, “I keep all copies of short quizzes and exams for reference.”
6. Create learning materials. Bon Rodriguez-Aguilar, mommy to 9-year old Eyca and 3-year old Llora, suggests, “Prepare sample exams for them to answer at home. For kids having difficulty in Filipino, it helps a lot to put labels (post it notes would suffice) with Filipino words of all the things in the house.” Mommy Therese explains that she uses her children’s old notebooks for their drills and practice tests. Mommy Hannah adds, “a review notebook also helps. It is something like a journal, with date, topic and time. Significant points and outlines can be in that notebook.”
7. Be creative. Mommy Bon shares that, “for subjects like Reading or History, it would be fun to discuss the lessons in a story-telling kind of way. Ask your child to summarize what she understood from what she read and ask questions in a chat-like manner.” Michelle Agustin, a mother of three boys (Nathan,15; Timmy, 11; and Noah, 9 years old), shares that, “While driving on our way home, I ask about their day, specifically, what was fun to do in school. They often talk about friends first, then move on to learnings.” Mommy Michelle explains that asking them these questions in a light manner “helps me evaluate what subjects they might need help on , while getting their mind off the tiring day.”
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8. Plan meaningful and fun learning experiences. Mommy Lala suggests, “Relate the lessons to your everyday activities so they can remember them well. They retain the lessons better when they are able to apply them in real life.” Mommy Geraldine agrees that, “you can also arrange for family field trips which not only allow for experiential learning but also for family bonding.”
9. Build partnerships. Mommy Kath suggests, “know the child’s teachers/coaches/mentors and maintain an open communication with them. They may share insights about your child that will help him/her be happier in school and thus take interest in learning inside and outside the classroom. As for Mae Gumintad, a preschool teacher and mommy to Ranya, 6 years old and Rohan, 2 years old, she keeps in touch with the teacher and schedules visits to them if she can. She also communicates with the teacher via SMS to ask about her child’s progress. Mommy Michelle Dee also suggests, “make sure you have other mommies’ numbers so that if homeworks or projects are not clear, then you have a lifeline.”
10. Empower your child. Norfe Luces, mom to Jemmuel, 10 years old and Jethro, 6 years old, shares, “I always inculcate in them the importance of education. I tell them that procrastination does not help their studies..” She explains that she lets her children read and understand their homework and syllabus by themselves. Mommy Kath suggests, “If the child is old enough, give him a planner where he can write the activities for the day. This is helpful for the working moms to be able to track the child’s progress and thoughts on his studies, school and friends.”