Authored by Tamara L. Waters in Education
Published on 07-07-2009
Most teachers and school administrators will agree: Parental involvement in a child’s education makes long-term success for the child more likely. An involved parent can help motivate and encourage a child by showing them that education is important. Getting involved in a child’s education can be a rewarding way for a parent to bond with their child and it can be done easily with a little planning and some extra free time.
Become a School Volunteer
Many public and private schools find themselves in a pinch for funding staff. Most are happy to not only have parents interested enough in their child’s education to volunteer at the school, but their desire to become involved in school activities can also help alleviate staffing shortages. Parents can volunteer to help students with their reading skills, tutor students in math, assist teachers during art projects, or supervise recess times and lunch times.
Most school administrators and teachers will appreciate offered help and usually have many activities that can provide greater involvement by parents. It is important to ask the child’s school about their specific needs and work with the staff to plan and implement volunteer activities.
Volunteer to Attend Field Trips
An activity that is great for parent involvement in a child’s education is a field trip. Most teachers need and appreciate extra help from adult chaperones during a field trip. Parents can volunteer to go on various field trips throughout the school year with their child‘s class. Not only will it be a good chance for bonding between parent and child, but mom or dad can watch their child interact with his or her peers and teachers.
Attend School Functions
One important parent involvement activity that can be easily done is simply showing up. When the child has a school function that they are participating in – a music recital, science fair, a ball game – the parent should set aside time to attend. Not only does this show the child that they are important, but it shows the child’s teachers that the parent or parents are committed to their son or daughter’s education and well-being.
At the beginning of the school year, the parent should ask their child’s teacher for a calendar of school functions and events. The parent (both parents if possible) should mark these dates on their calendar, set up alerts and reminders in their cell phone and email for these events, then follow through and go to as many as possible. The child will always remember their parent’s presence and effort throughout their school years and beyond.
A very important activity for any parent to get involved with is homework. Setting aside time each evening to help their son or daughter with homework can help the parent monitor their child’s progress in school. Working on homework together can also provide time for the parent to observe their child’s study habits and learning style.
The more activities a parent can become involved in, the better. Even so, a parent should work with the time they have available, discuss their interest with their child and their child’s teacher and plan to become an integral part of their child’s education.