Dorothy Rich, author of Mega Skills once said, “In this complex world, it takes more than a good school to educate children. And it takes more than a good home. It takes these two major educational institutions working together.” Parent involvement in education has never been needed more than it is today, but with so many other responsibilities it can be harder than it sounds. There’s no way around it though, parent involvement takes time and energy so if you want to see your child succeed then you have to find a balance.
What can you do as a parent to get involved with education?
There are several ways to get involved with your child’s education. Here are several suggestions on how to do it:
Instill a love of learning
Help your child love to learn. Children who have a broad knowledge and background on various subjects will most definitely find school easier and much more interesting. As a parent you can show your child what the world has to offer; you can help them love to learn and want to learn more. Talk with your children about every day life. What happened at school? Who did you play with? What do you want to be when you grow up? Simple questions can spark very interesting conversations. And don’t forget to listen to them. There is so much for children to learn; simple activities like grocery shopping, or making a paper airplane at home can teach them something new. You don’t have to take them to the zoo, or go on some huge adventure to teach them about the world. Some other simple things you can do with your child are:
•Watch the news together and explain what is happening
•Visit a museum, garden, or historical site and teach them the importance of culture
•Plant a garden together
•Go to the library and read books together
Communicate with the teacher
Parent-teacher communication is critical to parent involvement in education. Research has proven that when parents talk with teachers and become involved children do better in school. Parent-teacher conferences is an obvious way to get involved and communicate with teachers, but you don’t have to wait each quarter to do just that. There are many other ways to communicate with your child’s teachers. Participate in school activities or get involved with the PTO, PTA or booster club. This gives you a chance to meet teachers and interact with them outside of the classroom. Another way to communicate with teachers is to volunteer your time to help out in the classroom. If you have a day or a half day off then why not spend it with your child watching and helping them learn. Kids love it when parents come in to help.
Know the curriculum
This may seem like more than you want to do and a little over the top, but you’d be surprised at how early preparation can help with the success of your child. It never hurts to ask the teacher for an outline of the year just to see what they will be learning and what specific areas of learning they will cover. You can prepare them for what’s coming and prepare yourself as well; you can better equip yourself with the time and energy needed if you know what you’re up against.
Parent involvement in education requires time and energy that sometimes we may not think we have, but in order to help our teachers be successful with our children it needs to be done. You need to find a balance so that you can involve yourself in your child’s education.