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.
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.