We live in fast times. Everything and everyone is going fast and we are constantly running around to catch up . Of course, children are no exception to this rule. They too have too many obligations and chores, both school-related and extra-curricular. As for free time? All that remains is plundered away by the entertainment industry and the virtual world of the Internet.
If the above sounds familiar to your reality, it is obvious we are facing a complete change regarding the role of parents , children and teachers alike, with the primarily most important (chronologically and evaluative) and main burden of it”falling” on parents’ shoulders.
To be more specific :
If we wish for our child to stay within the confines of a normal childhood and gradually acquire creative interests and achieve his or her dreams and highest aspirations that can improve both his/her own life as well as the lives of those around them, then we have to take up action and feel up to the task, parents and teachers alike, because the task at hand is no small feat. Times have changed, and if we are trapped in outdated practices and methods, then our child will get lost in the whirlwind of today’s fast and furious lifestyle.
These are the particular measures that need to be taken:
- A parent needs to take into account two important considerations: firstly to be aware of the urgency of the situation and to protect his child from the constant bombardment of online temptation (use of mobiles, tablets, video games, unsupervised internet surfing etc. ) and secondly – but equally important – to realize how vital it is for the mental and intellectual maturity of a child to be systematically taught the Greek language – through all its timelessness (ancient, medieval, modern) – and the Greek civilization ordination on soft nails. (details: www.gnomonpedia.com)
2. It is vital for parents themselves to bring back systematic studying into their own everyday lives. We have to take up our task of daily studying seriously, always in accordance with our own interests, but also by guiding our studies towards essay writing as well as philosophy, history, theology, sociology and language studies. The curriculum we provide is exactly pertaining to that and aims at achieving this when it comes to adults: to whet their appetite and to entice them to to return to the blessed habit of daily studying. Two things are achieved in this way: firstly we will be a living example for the child at home and secondly we will be acquiring valuable knowledge so that we can engage in a serious dialogue with our own child, answer his questions and give the right directional advice. Today’s children are multicultural, they receive a lot of influence – sometimes hardly good ones – from many sources and they need someone to discuss about them with , take their questions seriously and provide them with satisfying answers that can help them bring inner order to outer chaos.
3. It is vitally important to spend enough time with our children. And if this is not possible quantitatively, then let it be quality time. Let us listen to them, talk to them, read fine books of classical literature to them, if they are still too young, or talk to them about books they have read or about something that made a strong impression on them and generally keep an honest and open communication between you two.
4. It is of great importance that we set aside time for other activities apart from of school and extra curricular activities. As far as extra-curricular activities are concerned: common sense and prudence is needed. Spreading oneself too thin is rarely beneficial. Careful choice of activities based on the child’s particular interests and talents is needed instead. What of the rest of free time? If we leave it “free”,there are far too many temptations coming from both outside and technology that it’s very likely for our child to get stuck with their portable devises phone, tablet and video games and then it all goes downhill from there….
We have to set limits and help our child, so that his or her leisure can be recreationally and creatively spent. There is no greater pastime activity, for example, than playing in their room (e.g. with educational board games, or with building blocks etc) or spending time outdoors, preferably with friends but also on their own.
ABOUT THE STUDY OF ANCIENT GREEK – TESTIMONY FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I have the great honor and pleasure of working with many parents (both fathers and mothers) in the Ancient and Modern Greek Language, History and Culture Lessons Program For All Ages (information – details on www.gnomonpedia.com). By observing the progress of students, boys and girls,I have come to realize that this was greatly aided mainly by the attitude and active help of the parent. Let me explain: They are parents who firstly became aware of the value and usefulness of such a lesson despite it being out of scope of what is considered ‘fashionable’, scope that is systematically shaped by mass advertising. (One easily decides to provide English lessons to their child, but when it comes to ancient Greek lessons, it is totally another matter …).
Secondly, they convince their child of the value of such lessons, and they are actively aiding him or her, attending the lesson with him or her, taking notes, asking questions, encouraging, monitoring their progress … in a nutshell: they are the crucial link that keeps the child connected to their teacher and what the subject taught and so the lesson becomes optimally beneficial.
They take on this role, because they realize that this is precisely what is required of them, until their children can “stand on their own feet” , that is, start enjoying per se the aesthetic pleasure deriving from the creative contact and study of Greek Culture. When this happens – and believe me it comes sooner than later – then children have no need for an aid. They know what to do by themselves and they do it.
The above are concerns and conclusions that I came to during my daily contact with students and parents. I will be delighted to hear your own opinion as it is formed through your personal experience. Through our mutual dialogue only beneficial gain may be obtained for all of us!