Research shows that the more parents are involved in a child’s education, the more success a child has in school. In short, parental involvement is directly related to academic achievement. But many parents aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to supporting their child’s education. Fortunately, when it comes to partnering with teachers and supporting education at home, it doesn’t take much to make a big impact.
Connect with your child’s teacher. Parents have several opportunities to connect with their children’s teachers. Attending open houses, curriculum nights, meet and greets, parent teacher association meetings and parent/teacher conferences are common opportunities schools formally provide for parents and teachers to connect. Responding to notes and letters that are sent home and setting up meetings, when questions or concerns arise are other ways parents can effectively partner with teachers.
Get involved at school. Children want their parents involved in school. When children see their parents involved with school activities, whether it is attending meetings and school concerts, volunteering in the classroom or library or manning the bake sale table, it sends the message that school is important and is something everyone in the family supports. Parents who can’t be involved in day to day activities can volunteer to assist the teacher in the evening at home by helping to prepare labor intensive materials or formatting the classroom newsletter.
Support learning at home. Having a daily routine that involves getting up early enough to have breakfast and prepare for school, doing homework and going to bed at an appropriate hour and having a set place to do school work can impact a child’s academic performance. Monitoring afterschool activities and limiting screen time can also help to support learning at home. Reading to children and ensuring their homework is completed are other ways parents can partner with teachers to foster academic success.
Foster a positive attitude about learning. Parents who value school, teachers and academic success typically have children who value school, teachers and academic success. Setting realistic goals for children based on the child’s age and abilities is another way parents can foster learning at home.
Value academic effort and success. Children typically live up to the standards parents set for them, when they are age-appropriate and realistic for the child. Praise your child for doing his best and reward school achievement. Communicate your educational goals for your child and hold him accountable to meeting them.
Another important part of parent/teacher parents involves advocating for your child. Parents should bring concerns they have to their teacher’s attention. Concerns about your child’s developmental or academic delays, learning styles and behavioral issues should be addresses with your child’s classroom teacher.
It doesn't take much for parents to significantly impact their child's academic achievement. If you're still not sure how to support learning at home, talk with your child's teacher and ask what you can do to support your child's education. Most teachers are more than happy to provide specific tasks that will significantly impact their student's success.