Concordia Chronicle Nov 21 2022

A how-to guide on being a parent at Concordia: How parents can support their child’s holistic learning

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International schools like Concordia Shanghai have an approach to education that focuses on more than students' academic development, but also on a student’s overall development, the development of the whole child. Unlike the old formula where student success was measured almost entirely through academic performance, holistic education allows students to attain a more global vision of success, enabling them to communicate their needs confidently, set high-achieving academic goals, and support their overall development as leaders for tomorrow.

At Concordia International School Shanghai we are committed to holistically educating students in a nurturing environment that includes comprehensive and challenging academic opportunities, creative arts, character development, athletics, co-curricular activities, and service. 

Our holistic approach to education sees children as whole people beyond just their academic personalities. This perspective helps broaden children’s worldviews as they learn about themselves and their role in the world around them. 

We believe that our collaboration with parents is essential to the success of the whole community and has helped us stay true to this commitment. Parents play a key role in their child’s holistic development at school. Positive parental involvement early on can help nurture children into growing up to be well-rounded and contributing members of society.

Here are some ways parents can support their child’s holistic development at Concordia Shanghai International School.

1. Responsive parenting to support your child’s holistic development

Parents that partner with their child’s international school to support their holistic development helps carry out the teaching responsibilities beyond the classroom. These efforts can create a stronger and more positive learning experience for children, allowing them to gain deeper learning and excel at performing academically; it can also help parents express support for their children and helps them to thrive in an international school environment.

We recommend accepting requests to partner with your children’s international school and initiating communications with the teachers to learn about their ongoing concerns, join forces and discuss ways to support your children’s holistic development.

2. Partner with the school to support your child’s holistic development

A healthy relationship between the parent and international school is one where all participants are on the same team, working in the same direction to support your children’s holistic development. Partnering with your child’s school means making a commitment that requires time and energy to maintain the holistic development of your children at home and school.

This relationship demonstrates a sense of community founded on mutual respect, support, and trust, where parents and educators work together to address concerns and focus on finding ways to support the holistic development of your child. The parent-teacher relationship can also help parents recognize the efforts teachers are willing to make to support their students and how good teachers can impact student success.

Concordia Shanghai considers its parent partners at our Parent Support Organization (PSO) to be integral to our community's success and well-being. We have been working with parents since we began operations in 1998. Through our PSO, we provide our parents with a broad network of activities, events, and connections where they have the opportunity to share their talents and expertise to actively engage our students and community members.

3. Reinforce standards and expectations to support your child’s holistic development

The values and standards that are followed in school to support the holistic development of your children must also be reinforced at home by parents; otherwise, children may get mixed signals or feel confused about the right path to follow. By reflecting on the standards and expectations set forth by the school, parents can ensure that their children receive consistent messages from their primary caregivers.

Some examples of ways that parents can reinforce the international school's expectations to support their children's holistic development include:

  • Ensuring your child completes their homework on time
  • Attending parent-teacher conferences
  • Being active members of the partnership program like the PSO at Concordia Shanghai 
  • Ensuring all family members/caregivers are on the same page, promoting a united front for the child

The idea is to get actively involved in your child’s educational journey to demonstrate that you care and are ready to support your child’s education and holistic development at their international school.

Holistic education demonstrates one of the many reasons a value-based education is worth considering. It orients students to become lifelong learners. It emphasizes the focus on deeper learning instead of simply imparting concrete knowledge and textbook material. Holistic education recognizes that educating a child goes beyond academics by promoting the growth of all areas of human development, including intellectual, emotional, social, and moral arenas.