Original Post: August 12, 2011
For most a year is marked from January – December but for most parents and educators the year begins the end of August and last until early June. We are quickly approaching the beginning of a New Year, a new school year that is. As a parent this means no more late nights and sleeping in the next morning, no more day trips, lazy week days, and constant baked goods in the house. End of August means, packing lunches, homework, and waking up sleepy heads (sometimes before the sun comes up). I think it is safe to say that the end of Summer is a sad occasion.
As a therapist this means reintroducing previous learned materials, meeting new kids and starting new goals. It’s always a pleasure to see my kids return to school. The most impressive thing to a teacher/therapist is to see parents who are actively involved in their child’s school/therapy performance. Unfortunately, their are far too many parents who are not involved. Studies indicate that when schools and families work together to facilitate learning, kids tend to excel in school and life. A good predictor of a child’s achievement in school are home environment, parent’s high expectations, and involvement (read more). The U.S. Department of Education Project Appleseed identifies 6 slices of Parental Involvement to help improve parent-school partnerships. These are geared towards what schools can do, however, these same principals can be applied to build strong parent involvement.
- Volunteer your time at school. This makes you visible and your child will enjoy you being there.
- Parenting your child to achieve at his/her highest ability, to facilitate learning outside of school
- Communicating with your child and his/her school keeps you up to date.
- Learning at home working with your child at home with academics
- Decision making taking part in making decisions about your child and school
- Collaborating with the Community allows you to know about valuable activities and information going on outside of school. Supporting your community helps support your school.
Simple ways to get involved:
- attend open house and meet your child’s teacher, principal and other school staff.
- make a point to give your child’s teacher personal number and email for quick contact
- ask your teacher if there is anything you can help with for your child or the class
- set a time when you can come and volunteer in the class or the school
- attend PTA meetings and performances
- make sure your child does homework/projects
- attempt to have a conversation with your child’s teacher at least once a month.
- when there is a school function/activity participate
- have lunch/attend a field trip with your child.
- make sure your child goes to on time and prepared
As you can see parent involvement is so simple but so vital. It’s been proven that parents are the keys to better education. Make sure this year you prepare to go back to school with your kids.