Now that the back-to-school season is almost here, I thought it would be appropriate to repost this article from last year that I wrote regarding the importance of being active in your child’s education.
When I was younger, my parents did not participate in my education. My mom worked the night shift, so she slept during the day and wasn’t available during school hours. My father worked during the day and he tried to attend my events and school conferences when he could but most of the time, he was a no-show. Therefore when it came to my schooling, it was just me and the teacher and the system. Sometimes that was enough but most of the time, it wasn’t.
As a parent, I believe in involvement in my children’s education. I don’t think it is solely the responsibility of our school system to teach our kids. It’s a team effort : educational system, parental involvement, and the community. With work and other personal issues, it can be a difficult task to stay active in your child’s education but it must be done in order to insure that viability of their learning.
Here are a few tools that can help you stay active and involved in your education:
- Communicate With Your Child’s Teachers- And I am not just talking about on Parent/Teacher conference nights. Communicating with your child’s teacher– to see how they are doing, if they had a bad day, ways to teach the lesson at home, are ways to stay connected as a parent. I email my children’s teachers about once a week to check up on them, maybe more if I have a specific question or concern. I also randomly show up at the school to check up on their teaching. As parents, we need to assess the education they are receiving and not just take it at face value.
- PTA- Being a member of the PTA or other organizations at your child’s school is a great way to help the school at a macro level. Knowing about the school’s budget, fundraising efforts, upcoming events, and other information is central to being on top of the school. It also give you the opportunity to meet other parents of children in the school.
- Principal Pal- I have gotten to know the principals at both of my kid’s schools and I like the access that I have to them. Knowing the principal and their plan, their teaching style, their personality, tells you a lot about the school and how it is being run. Many of the principal’s values, ethics, and work habits, are passed down to the teacher.
- Know the Curriculum- Knowing the curriculum will help insure your child’s success at school. It allows me to purchase books or other materials to help them progress in their school lessons. I work a lot with my kids, especially my six year old, on her reading and math skills. Knowing the curriculum helps assist me in making wise purchases that invest in their education.
- Have Fun- Have fun with your child, working with them and helping them learn. Having fun will teach your child that schooling doesn’t have to be boring. Lead by example. When they see you making education fun, they will in turn have fun with learning.
You cannot simplify the importance of being involved in your child’s education in just one blog post but the above mentioned five tips can help you bridge the gap between education at home and at school.