Parents who are not Gaelic speakers often have concerns about their ability to support their children in school and especially with homework. Although parents usually find that once their child is in school that they need not have worried there is lots of support available if needed with homework.
Gaelic4parents.com Online support is available here and as well as live online help with homework each evening during term time, parents will find games, stories and audio books that will help them read with their child.
Homework clubs and other parental support structures are also now more widely available but most importantly if parents have any concerns at any time they should communicate this to their child’s teacher.
However children can learn about something in one language and talk about it in another, and this often helps them understand a subject more easily, so explaining their homework to a non-Gaelic speaking parent is not a problem.
Immersion Guide For Non-Gaelic Speaking Parents Whose Children Are Learning Gaelic In School
- Do encourage your child to watch Gaelic television, listen to Gaelic radio and make use of online resources.
- Do take your child to Gaelic cultural events. Take advantage of opportunities to expose him/her to the Gaelic language and culture.
- Do not ask your child to translate. She/he will not understand this concept in the very early years.
- Do not give in to the temptation to say, "Now, dear, say something in Gaelic to Granny." If your child is eager to speak Gaelic at home, encourage it, but do not make it a chore.
- Do not compare your child's progress with that of other children whether in Gaelic or English Medium Education. No two pupils work at the same rate.
- Do let your child know that you are pleased with his/her progress.
- Do not attempt to correct your child, if you are uncertain of the exact pronunciation or expression.
- Do read stories to your child in English, because English stories will not be heard at school for a time. You can fill the gap.
- Do not formally teach your child to read English. Your child will transfer reading skills to English automatically, once they have been mastered in Gaelic.
- Do not expect your child to provide you with an account of each day's activities. Children take the routines of school for granted and often want a change of subject when they reach home.
- Do speak positively about Gaelic, the teacher and the school. Express any questions or concerns you might have to the teacher, not to your child.