Friday, April 1, 2011

Parental Involvement is major factor in student success - how do we increase it?

Parental and family involvement in school is a major factor in student success. Parents need to be involved in their children's education. They should be up-to-date on news at the school, what their child is doing in school, and how their child is doing in school. They should be talking about school with their children, helping them with their school and homework, encouraging their children to do their best in school, showing their children how important school is to their future, and creating a nurturing, supportive environment at home. 

Schools need to reach out to parents and get them involved in the school. Schools should also help parents with helping their children succeed. 

Parents and families can help increase student learning by creating a rich environment for learning at home. Schools can help parents and families do this.  Parents should give students a quite place and time to study, encourage the students to read (just for fun too), monitor their TV and internet use, talk to them about the world and their experiences, and take them to places to gain new experiences.

In order for children to succeed in school, and life, they need to be in school, have a supportive home environment and not have to worry about other major issues in their lives. In order for children to have this kind of environment, the community and schools must help parents create a positive learning environment at home, become involved with their children's education, and help parents when there are other issues that are affecting the home, such as childcare and finances. 

Parents have many responsibilities and obstacles to getting involved in school. Many work multiple jobs or work evenings or nights, preventing them from being able to attend meetings, conferences, and spend time with their children. Many have day care issues that make it hard for them to get away from home. Many also have language barriers or feel like they can’t help their children with school. Some contact teachers at off times via email, take time off from work, bring their younger children with them to meetings, and some use their children as interpreters. Some don’t over come these barriers and are not involved in their child’s education. Schools need to come up with ideas and ways to help parents overcome these obstacles. 

Schools can work to provide day care to help parents come to evening events. Provide parent classes on how to help their child with school. Provide resources, social events, and make parents feel welcome in the school. Provide workshops for parents. Help them help their children.

Technology can help with parental involvement. Email groups, voice messages, web sites, blogs and more can all be used to communicate with parents. Student information systems that parents can access to see their child's attendance, grades, missing assignments. A Parent Personal Learning Network can share resources with parents and connect them to other parents who can help them. School websites can have information, resources, and links for parents. 

We need to work together with parents, and the community, to increase student achievement and help all students succeed. Everyone, schools, parents, community, are responsible for educating our children.