Get Involved With Your Child’s Education This School Year

By Dr. Raymond J. Huntington

Get Involved With Your Child’s Education This School Year

You’ve probably heard before how valuable parental involvement is when it comes to supporting a child’s academic success and well-being. Researchers and education professionals continue to find that a family’s involvement in their child’s education is not just beneficial, but essential. Parental involvement is closely tied to student achievement, high motivation , self-esteem and more.

But how exactly should you get involved, and how much? Are certain activities more beneficial than others? Here are several suggestions on how you can get involved with your child’s education this school year—and make the most of those efforts.

Voice your opinion on school issues. Attend meetings for your school’s Parent Teacher Association and help weigh in on important decisions that impact your child’s education. This is a great way to make changes at your school and a wonderful way to get to know teachers, administrators and other parents.

Spend time at school. Volunteering in the classroom helps out your child’s teacher, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to observe your child’s work habits and behavior. Another idea is to volunteer in the lunchroom or help out during lunchtime activities if your child’s school allows it.  Be sure to stop into the classroom to touch base with your child’s teacher as well.

Foster your child’s learning at home. If your work schedule doesn’t allow you to get to school much, don’t worry. Parental involvement and student achievement studies show that at-home activities such as reading with your child actually have a greater impact on student educational outcomes than involvement such as parental participation in school events. Whenever possible, be on hand to help your child with homework. If your child is older and does homework independently, you can still ask questions about and show interest in school, homework and what your child is learning (and enjoying).

Get to know the teachers in your child’s life. Building a home-school bond is important. Make sure to attend all parent-teacher conferences, but also maintain open lines of communication with the teacher in between. Ask how you can best support your child at home and keep in touch about how those efforts are going.

Work on the basics. A less obvious way of parental involvement is to help your child develop some of the essentials for school success: organization, time management, good study habits and maintaining a schedule. These skills require consistency and practice, and most children need support at home to learn them. Run a structured household that has a predictable school routine and encourage your child to do the same.