Hippy tips favour learn­ing

A pro­gramme de­signed to give chil­dren a smart start to their ed­u­ca­tion has in­spired a mother of nine to head back to school as well, dis­cov­ered re­porter Florence Kerr.

South Waikato News - - EDUCATION -

Missy Walker cred­its a home in­ter­ac­tion pro­gramme for giv­ing her and her nine chil­dren a new lease on life.

Ms Walker, a solo mother of nine, aged from four to 19, has com­pleted a Home In­ter­ac­tion Pro­gramme for Par­ents and Young­sters (HIPPY).

The course which helps par­ents teach their chil­dren skills they need to make a suc­cess­ful start at school, was ex­actly what this busy mother needed.

‘‘I re­mem­ber when Ta­nia (Ta­nia Ratu HIPPY Toko­roa co­or­di­na­tor) came to my door. She started ex­plain­ing what Hippy was. I said no at first. I told her to give me a bit of info so I could share it with a few ladies I know with kids. ‘‘Once she got into it I was hooked and I wanted my baby to have a good start so I changed my mind and I haven’t looked back.’’ Ms Walker said.

The pro­gramme caters for chil­dren aged be­tween three and four. With fort­nightly vis­its from a Hippy tu­tor par­ents are taught one on one how to teach their chil­dren ac­tiv­i­ties.

Par­ents are given a plan­ner and ac­tiv­i­ties to help their chil­dren with read­ing and writ­ing skills, pre­par­ing them for school.

Ms Walker, who prior to the course placed no im­por­tance on ed­u­ca­tion, has now had a com­plete change of heart and mind; ed­u­ca­tion has been el­e­vated to num­ber one.

‘‘I didn’t fin­ish school and with my other kids I didn’t re­ally put that much into their ed­u­ca­tion, you know read­ing to them and that.

‘‘Af­ter do­ing Hippy I know now that ed­u­ca­tion is a must and a need. Now I know what my ba­bies need and I only want the best for them.

‘‘If they get a good ed­u­ca­tion, they can go to uni­ver­sity and then get a re­ally good job,’’ she said.

Ms Walker ad­mits that her life had no rou­tine and bal­ance and thanks to the pro­gramme, ‘‘I am now in a good rou­tine with the kids. They know when it’s home­work time and all that’’.

Ed­u­ca­tion is now some­thing Ms Walker would also like to con­sider.

‘‘See­ing the re­sults of my kids af­ter do­ing this pro­gramme has in­spired me to do some­thing with my life. I have just grad­u­ated from a com­puter course and now I am look­ing at do­ing a busi­ness cer­tifi­cate. Hippy has given me the con­fi­dence to do some­thing for my­self,’’ she said.

Hippy pro­gramme tu­tor, Jazaine Pu­ata, who taught Ms Walker, said the course was open to all par­ents who have chil­dren aged three.

‘‘This pro­gramme is open to all par­ents want­ing to give their chil­dren or child a good start at school,’’ she said. ‘‘I am do­ing the pro­gramme with my son. Chil­dren at that age are able to learn and re­tain in­for­ma­tion given to them.’’

Hippy co-or­di­na­tor, Ta­nia Ratu said the pro­gramme has re­ceived ex­cel­lent feed­back from pri­mary schools in Toko­roa.

‘‘We are pleased with the re­sults. The main fo­cus of this course is the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween par­ent and child. We have a lot of feed­back from par­ents say­ing they talk more with their child.

‘‘Most par­ents don’t see them­selves as their child’s first teacher and they are amazed at the skills they pass down.’’

Reg­is­tra­tions for the Hippy pro­gramme close on Fe­bru­ary 28.

To reg­is­ter you can call or text Mrs Ratu on 027 819 7261 or 886 8277 ex­ten­sion 721.

Hippy Toko­roa is based at the Toko­roa Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vices build­ing on Marae­tai Rd.

LIFE OF ED­U­CA­TION: Hippy tu­tor, Jazaine Pu­ata with Hippy par­ent, Missy Walker and four of Ms Walker’s chil­dren, from the back, Chad, Missy, Waireti and Booga Walker seated in front.

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