Everybody is Learning!
At our help2kids children’s home we strive to create an atmosphere of learning. Recently everyone has gotten into the mood, and the mamas requested to have English lessons. We have found a qualified instructor named Joseph who comes every morning, Monday through Friday, to teach our mamas. It’s truly delightful to see the mamas’ English improving after only one week. Several mamas are just beginners, slowly taking the first steps towards grasping the language, and a few are intermediate, who just need more confidence and practice. The new lessons are a boost for everyone, no matter the level. There’s even homework! I loved walking into the dining room the other afternoon and seeing Mama Neema, Anna, and Fanny dutifully doing their homework. I feel like now I get to ask EVERYONE in the house if they have completed their homework. Everyone, except Digna, Alex, Gladness, and Nathan of course (our resident babies).
While we’re celebrating education at the children’s home, I want to take a moment to pay tribute to our volunteers who serve as tutors for the kids. The afternoon tutoring sessions are really critical to the kids’ success in school. The fun lessons and activities you plan keep them interested in their education, and the one-on-one attention builds their self-esteem and emotional stability. Never underestimate the importance of that half an hour. It may be the end of your long day, but it’s a highlight for the kids when they come home. You are their mentors and their teachers, their playmates and friends. You don’t have to be a qualified teacher to help a young child learn their colors, or to make learning math fun!
It can be hard to see the big picture when you’re struggling to teach a child the concept of division, but believe me it all fits together! It is because of your hard work that our kids can get to be top in their classes, attend private schools, and have a brighter future!
Learning can’t be kept only in the classroom. Because children are constantly, ceaselessly learning, we need to keep giving them new opportunities to learn. Recently we changed our evening routine to help ease bedtime chaos and stress. The change has also allowed the mamas to spend more quality time with the kids after dinner. Mama Lucy, Demie, and Leah have been taking turns reading out loud to the younger kids, from both Swahili and English storybooks. It’s a sweet time, when the youngest, having completed their homework in the afternoon, gather around and sleepily listen to the mama’s voice. It is also a good way to set up a good habit of reading and taking quiet time at the end of a day.
Next week most of the children will be off of school, enjoying a break from formal education, but not from learning! We are looking forward to breaking out some new games and activities that a busy school schedule have precluded.