St. Philip’s School offers community a Parent University

Devon A. Mosley | 4/15/2013, 11:48 a.m.
In an effort to equip parents and other primary caregivers with resources and information to foster their children’s growth, teachers ...
Children at St. Philip’s School and Community Center. Photo courtesy of St. Philip’s

During the “Men Only: The Impact of a Man,” Emmanuel Burell took a Biblical approach to illustrate the kind of impact men should have in their family and in society.

“We [men] have the God-given privilege to stop the chaos,” he said, after alluding to a man’s ability to correct a misbehaving child with a simple stare. “With great privilege comes great responsibility.”

The instrument of this God-given privilege, Burell maintained, is the power men possess to stop the chaos. Somewhere along the way, men have lost this power, he continued. He put forward that television has caused men to lose this power, namely its great influence on our children and the different family situations or arrangements thereon. In essence, the main point I gathered from Burell’s talk was that men, as the heads of their families, must retake their families and communicate vision to them. A man in the audience could not agree more.

“[We] gotta spit vision to our wives and kids,” he insisted.

The next workshop was “Understanding How My Child Learns,” at which different learning styles and learning concepts were presented by teacher Teice Willis. A few examples of the learning styles discussed are kinesthetic/tactile, visual, auditory and multi-sensory. Put very briefly, some students learn best while moving around, some while actually touching objects, some when they see their lesson, some when they hear it, and others when a combination of the styles are performed.

Learning was also explored in a generational sense. Veterans, baby boomers, Generation X’ers and millennials all have learned by different means. The former learned using extensive study, classrooms and lecture workshops, while latter generations have learned using role play and more technological means.

Within Willis’ presentation was also the learning pyramid, which showed in a downward fashion that the least effective way to learn is by lecturing and reading, while the most effective way to learn is by practicing by doing and by teaching others.

Another point made about learning was how the word “pie” can invoke different emotions, images and such in students. For instance, one child may get really excited when she hears the word “pie,” another might smell the aroma of how her favorite pie smells, while the word “pie” might excite her taste buds.

In line with the same thought of learning, another workshop was “Early Childhood: ‘Hands-on’ Learning Everywhere.” At this session, presenters showed parents different ways to engage children in learning at an early age.

“Parents can have their children put a small amount of vinegar [or anything acidic, like lemon juice] in a water bottle and pour a little baking soda in a balloon,” Toyota Morrison said.

When carefully placing the opening of the balloon over the opening of the water bottle, the baking soda will slide down into the water bottle, causing a chain reaction and the balloon to inflate. This is just one creative exercise that parents can do with their children.

Other neat exercises presented at the workshop included creating a decorative shoe box in which to put flashcards and whatnot, and showing young children – with props – objects that float versus those that do not float, like a pencil and a rock.