Parents, GET INVOLVED!!!
I have always been a major advocate of parent involvement in their child’s education. In my nine years in education, I have found that students with parents who are heavily invested in their education tend to have more success in school than students whose parents are less involved. Case in point, I fielded a phone call from a parent who was trying to prepare her 7th grader for high school. For privacy purposes, we will call the 7th grader Jane. The parent was concerned about Jane’s results from the standardized test completed this spring. The parent wanted to ensure that Jane was fully prepared to take the high school entrance exam in September so she reached out to One On One Tutoring Service for assistance.
Upon reviewing her test scores, I found that Jane was above the level in most skills. Four learning paths were created to target the identified weak skills and close Jane’s learning gaps. I emailed the mother and she responded back with a few suggestions to add to the learning path based on Jane’s learning style. Although her suggestions were already included in the learning path which she overlooked, I was pleasantly surprised at how involved she was in Jane’s education. Together, we were able to create a plan in a timely manner that was indubitably tailor-made to target Jane’s weaknesses.
The point I’m trying to make here is that parental involvement not only helps to make the educator’s job easier but it also prevents the child from falling behind. By knowing where your child stands in accordance with national standards, parents have a greater chance of discovering problem areas and implementing a solution to address those problems. A home that provides structure, support, and sets high standards is sure to produce a successful student in school. Below are a few ways in which parents can get involved:
Have an after school schedule for your child. Your child should know exactly what he or she should be doing once school ends. This schedule should include homework, house chores, time for reading, time for dinner, as well as leisure time.
It is imperative that parents regularly check student progress by meeting with teachers. Meeting with teachers during report card conferences and parent/teacher night is not sufficient. It does not have to be a face to face meeting. An easy way of communicating with teachers is via email. Obtain the email addresses of all of your child’s teachers and maintain communication through that avenue. Teachers show favor to students whose parents have a positive attitude and are proactive in their child’s education. In addition, parents must be aware of where their child stands in comparison to state and national averages.
Set High Standards:
We live in a society where priority is oftentimes given to the wrong areas in our children’s lives. I have met with parents who give priority to activities such as sports, dance lessons, and music over education. The problem with that is the child will also prioritize things in the same manner. The child will become so consumed with these activities that it will affect his/her education negatively. Parents must be aware of this and establish education as the child’s first priority. In addition to setting education as the top priority, parents should never accept or ignore poor grades or bad behavior. Parents must set high standards and never settle for less. Research shows that positive reinforcement through praise and encouragement works wonders as a motivational tool when a child succeeds, and an increase in involvement when a child fails is important in helping your child get better grades.
Remember parents, education begins at home.