School work continues in the home

THIS is not a sentence I thought I would ever find myself writing, but I appear to have something in common with David Beckham. Golden Balls, it seems, finds it difficult to help his seven-year-old son Brooklyn with his maths homework. I don t have a seve

THIS is not a sentence I thought I would ever find myself writing, but I appear to have something in common with David Beckham.

Golden Balls, it seems, finds it difficult to help his seven-year-old son Brooklyn with his maths homework.

I don't have a seven-year-old child but the plan is I might have one in the future, and I have to say I really would be stumped.

I'm terrible at maths and have a very short attention span for it.


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I scraped by at school and did what I had to do but breathed a sigh of relief when I walked out of the GCSE exam hall knowing that (hopefully!) I'd never have to work out an algebraic formula again.

And it appears that Mr Beckham and I are not alone in our ability to help our children, be they real or hypothetical.

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Nobel School in Stevenage is so concerned about the situation that it is offering free courses to get adults used to new teaching methods and to brush up on their maths and English.

Good for them, I say.

There must be nothing more embarrassing or frustrating for a supportive parent than simply not having the skills or knowledge to be able to help your child.

But children with parents who want to help, even if their education lets them down, are the lucky ones.

Unfortunately there are parents out there who don't worry about their ability to help their children because they have no interest in doing so.

We've all seen the kind, the ones who think it's acceptable to swear at two-year-olds and to tell their 10-year-old to shut their face in public places.

They're the ones whose own social lives and interests are far more important than laying down good foundations for the rest of their children's lives.

I feel sorry for the children who are born to such parents, but also to the teachers who face an uphill struggle in providing an education in the face of non-existent parental support.

How disheartening must it be to know the only things those children are going to learn each day is what you can cram into them between 9am and 3.30pm?

As I say I'm no parent, but from my own upbringing I know that education continues at home, with practical support and encouragement.

So I hope that the good parents out there make use of Nobel School's courses.

It's no shame to find that education has moved on since you were at school and left you out of touch, or even if (like me) you were just never that good.

And maybe a few parents, who previously took little interest in their children's education, will be inspired by such obvious dedication to spend a little time helping with homework tonight.

Your children (and their teachers!) will appreciate your time and efforts, now and in the future.

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