Fall is here, and my kids are in the full swing of youth football and readying themselves for a new school year. I take great interest in their football exploits and bust my butt to be at every practice and every game to see for myself how they are doing. I would never rely on an occasional chat with the football coach to measure my kids’ progress. But when it comes to the classroom, I have too often looked to the once-a-year parent-teacher conference to tell me most of what I know about my three children’s schooling. I do help with homework and sometimes chaperon field trips, but that is about where it stops. This disparity between my attentiveness to the athletic over the academic is out of whack, especially since my children’s education is far more important than anything else they do.
What I should do more often– especially since I am a so-called Recession Dad who lost his job several months ago and has more time than ever with his kids–is help out at school. Spending some time in your child’s classroom can be a real eye-opener. (more…)