We know that parents play a key role in their child’s development beginning before a child is even born. However, as our children grow and more factors enter their lives, it can feel more difficult to impact our kids in positive ways at home. Early childhood education experiences, friends and social groups, elementary school, extra-curricular activities, church and even other family members become players in the ever-widening circle of influence for your child.
One way parents can ensure their voice continues to be heard as their child grows is to stay actively involved in the education of their child. In multiple studies parent involvement has been shown to positively impact student academic success as well as learner behaviors. Following please read some simple ways you can be involved in your child’s education.
- Get involved early and stay involved.
- READ! Read to and with your child. Even as your child enters middle and high school levels try occasionally to read the same book that your child is reading and talk about the connections you are making to the text and characters.
- Establish a family routine that supports school success. For many families this means creating a time and space for homework, reading and family conversation.
- Have appropriate expectations for your child. Support your child’s success with age appropriate, child centered and high expectations. Find moments to congratulate your child for a job well done and celebrate even little victories when there are struggles.
- Pay attention. Read the information teachers are sending home, find out what your son or daughter is learning about, watch for school events. Discuss these things with your child and ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
- Communicate with the educators that are teaching your child. Email, call, attend conferences. Send a thank you note to show appreciation.
- Volunteer to help in the classroom during the preschool and elementary years. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to be at the school it sometimes works to ask for projects to take home.
- Advocate for your child and others by being a voice in important decisions. Attend opportunities for parent input including school board or PTA meetings.