I'll address the learning, then get to the "more."
|Langston, Zora, & Isabella at our new children's library|
Several folks have commented on our kids' "new math" work/homework. Read: what are they teaching kids these days?! I agree that it is different from the way we learned, but that doesn't make it bad or impossible for us to connect with/help our kids. If you see something that looks strange & you don't understand it--ask the teacher! Ask your kid. (!) Most of them are getting it. And here's where I ask the "big" thing of you: take an hour or two out of your work week and go to the classroom.
Since math is taught differently, that might be the the subject to sit in on a lesson. Then you might be able to do what I get to do sometimes & take a group of learners who need help in some certain area & help them. With around 20+ in a class, teachers have children at all different levels (on all subjects) in the room at the same time. If kids who need extra help can get that help (from a parent!), then teacher gets to move others along while the helper helps those needy kids catch up.
Here comes the "more" part. As you get involved and learn about your child's educators, classroom environment, materials, subject matter, specific needs, etc. you will not only become a partner in his or her education, but you will become a mentor to a small herd of other tiny people who need all the examples of caring adults they can get.
I have loved getting to know so many of L's classmates through the years. What you convey might be as simple as "reading can be fun," or as seemingly impossible as "you are worthy of attention." You never know what that kid needs or why. Encouraging and promoting that child's abilities might help them in ways you'll never know. I think we underestimate our abilities to touch lives through the simple things. I encourage you parents, as a parent, to be a part of your child's education as well as his or her generation. Go to school with your kid. Not just for a program, but to be present for a moment in a regular day. You might be the one learning--I know I sometimes am.