Studies show that parents actively involved in their child’s education help students enjoy learning more, achieve higher grades, and reduce bad behavior in the classroom. You know that getting involved in your child’s education is important . . . but where do you start?
Parent involvement doesn’t necessarily equate to significant time and expense—it can be as simple as talking with your child every day after school and encouraging their progress. The more you can do to get involved in your child’s education, the better. Here are 5 ideas to get you started.
Being involved with your child outside of school is by far the best thing you can do to foster their education. Talk with your child about their day at school. This will help you get an idea of what is going on in the classroom, on the playground, and with them personally.
Your children look to you as their best teachers in life. You are responsible for helping them form a positive attitude toward education and achievement. Create an open environment where they feel they can tell you what’s going on with them. This gives you the ability to know where they might be struggling and where they are excelling.
Help your child with their homework. Dedicate a time and a place in your house (free from distractions) where they can focus on finishing their homework. Inform yourself of their classroom projects and track their progress. Praise their achievements and display their work in your house. It is also a good idea to set aside time to read with your child at night before bed.
Remember to encourage and praise your child for their successes in trying and improving, not just accomplishing good grades. The goal is for them to learn, not to be the best at everything they do.
Joining the Parent Teacher Association is one of the best ways to get involved in your child’s education. When you are part of the PTA, you are able to help with decisions about how your child’s school is run.
You can provide input on your child’s education, organize volunteer programs, and start initiatives around things you feel are important or currently lacking in the school’s education. The PTA is responsible for implementing programs revolving around student well being. Program initiatives can be anything from health and fitness programs to safety and after-school programs.
If you are concerned that being a member of the PTA is too much for your schedule, you might be surprised to find out that it really doesn’t require that much time or effort—sometimes only one meeting a month.
With increasing classroom sizes and decreasing budgets, public schools can use all the help they can get. Becoming a classroom assistant is a great way to help improve your child’s education, as well as the education of others.
Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to spend a day in the life of your child at school. You can see first-hand what kind of environment they are in and what kind of education they are receiving. This will help you better understand them and fill in any gaps at home that you think are missing from their lessons.
Contact your child’s school to find out where they need assistance. Many schools will have parents lead reading groups, be computer aides, and supplement tutoring in math and science. You can also give presentations about areas that you specialize in, such as arts and crafts or discuss your profession on Career Day.
One of the simplest ways to get involved is to donate supplies. Most schools lack funding for basic supplies needed to give their lesson. You can help by finding out what is needed and donating it or by directly donating money to help fund the need for bigger things like computers and textbooks.
It is sometimes difficult to make time for your kid’s school assemblies, book fairs, parent teacher conferences, plays etc. But supporting your children in the things they actively take part in and getting excited along with them is such an important thing for parents to do. Your children want to make you proud. Be there to support them and praise their accomplishments.
Attending their school events is key. If you want to go the extra mile, you can get involved by helping them make their costumes, create sets, or by providing them with whatever they need to make their extracurricular activities take place.
Remember, getting involved doesn’t mean you have to win Mother or Father-of-the-Year. Choose one or two things you can do to help foster your child’s education and have fun—before you know it, they will be all grown up.