Coming from a family of eleven, we often found it challenging to make ends meet throughout the year. Families who don’t have adequate finances for many of the things that other families take for granted are areas in children’s lives that often get overlooked. For instance, the school can be one of those.
It Is More Than Just Being Poor
When a child experiences real poverty, it is more than just not having the best clothes, fancy electronics, or even enough to eat every day. It has a snowball effect on basically everything to do with education. It truly does put the child behind the eight balls from the word go.
Starts Before Preschool
When children are going through the toddler stage, they can learn an immense amount of information if presented with the opportunity. They can learn about shapes, sizes, numbers, letters and even start to create critical thinking skills. Many toddlers will begin reading essential words before they even start preschool. All of this usually happens under the supervision of parents and other responsible adults.
Suppose a parent is scraping by just trying to feed the family. In that case, everything gets pushed to the side, especially if it’s a one-parent family. Expenditures like preschool are not an option. Many times, preschool is an extravagance that those suffering through poverty just can’t afford.
Can you recall the times in school where it seemed like the whole class had the lesson figured out and you were left scratching your head nearly in tears from frustration? Imagine your entire kindergarten year being like this.
I can still recall how I was not just the worst with letters and words but the worst at numbers. And while my family definitely had problems with finances, we still had a roof over our heads. Many children do not have this luxury. Instead of focusing on school, they wonder if they will even have a place to live in a week.
All Through Childhood
After kindergarten, the problems continue.
- Because of a lack of money, the children will not receive proper medical attention or even essential nutrition. Physical and cognitive development will be slowed, and they will often become emotionally stunted.
- Vocabulary will be limited because they are not around people who value language and literacy.
- Before and after school care is not possible for many in poverty.
- The children are continually moving as families can’t afford adequate housing or have the chance to live in better neighborhoods.
- Instead of learning in school, they spend more time on the streets learning how to make a quick buck instead of taking the chance to eye a real future.
The Cycle Continues
Poverty is often a generational thing that continues from parent to children to grandchildren and so on. It is a cycle that can be tough to break, especially for people that do not see a way out of it because of a lack of knowledge on how to better themselves. After a while, without proper guidance, it is just accepted.
Overcome with Knowledge
A little knowledge goes a long way in overcoming poverty and the ongoing continuous cycle. If you know of a family that could benefit from iAchieve’s Free College Planning seminar, don’t hesitate to let them know about it. In the workshop, we offer tips on succeeding during the high school years, how to pay for college, figuring out the ACTs and SATs, and maneuvering through the college admissions process. Taking steps to plan now could open up a whole new future for many students that have been held down through poverty over the years.