Parents can make a difference. We all know the importance of our parents and grownups. Parental involvement is the key to growth and achievement in our students. When we involve our parents, we all work as a team. Everyone on the team is essential, and students feel their jobs in school have value and are important too.
Last week, I came across a blog post called Why Your Teacher Is Asking for 45 Glue Sticks. I loved it. You see, last year, I bought about 1000 pencils for my students to use in the classroom. You will not be surprised to hear I have none left. Where did they go? I’m not quite sure really. I just know that we had to have them, and that’s just one item. We also used tons of post it notes, highlighters (in all colors to color code information), dry erase pens, and so much more. Well this post got me thinking about how parents support their kids, and about other ways they can help us make this a phenomenal year. I’ll share a few thoughts here.
Parents Can Make Expected and Unexpected Visits at School
Children want and need to know that school is a high priority to you. When they feel this, the level of concern for their work, their effort in class, and their behavior is raised. They want YOU to catch them doing well. If they know you are coming, of course they are at their best. However, we need that all the time. Plus, this gives you an opportunity to see how your child is learning and what is expected for his/her grade level.
Drop in lunch dates are always lots of fun and only take 20-25 minutes of time. In fact, if you have an interest in tutoring, you might even check about running a lunch bunch book club.
Parents Can Help Our in School
A teacher’s job is challenging and exhausting. Most days, teachers barely get a bathroom break or lunch, and there are always materials to cut out, work to display, or most importantly, children who need tutoring. If you have the time, there is always room for you to help in some way. This too shows your child that his/her education is valuable, and just think how helping a young child read will make you feel.
Parents can make a Big Difference at Home
Have you ever gone through a child’s backpack and found bundles of papers in a wad from three months ago? Most likely those papers came out of your child’s desk after a classroom desk cleaning. Sadly, the review time was lost because the work is so old.
If you make a routine of going over checked work together, then you will get an opportunity to reinforce great effort and achievement and correct errors. Plus, there are often very important messages sent home that you may miss! If you do not see papers, be sure to ask your child’s teacher. There may be an issue to resolve.
Parents can Monitor Homework at Home
It is pretty easy to see when a parent watches over homework and when the child is working independently without the parent around. Believe it or not, some parents believe that doing the child’s homework FOR them is helpful. Sadly, it means the child misses out on the necessary practice. When your child has homework, supervise it. However, keep some distance to allow your child to figure it out on his/her own when possible. If the child truly needs you to model it for him/her, then give some direction. Again, do not do it for him/her.
Kids do need supervision with homework though because some children need help to stay on task. Without supervision, some will sit forever and not start. That just frustrates everyone. If you find your child is completely lost with the work, then let the teacher know so that he/she can correct the errors and help. Keeping a regular homework routine helps your child build stamina and helps him/her work out the kinks with skills he/she is learning.
Parents Can Make Reading a Nightly Routine
Want the most growth possible for your child this year? Of course you do! If that’s the case, let him/her see you reading, writing, and doing math, and set aside time where all electronics are turned off and everyone reads.
Another suggestions is to keep books handy. Books can be carried along wherever you go so you are prepared for reading at any time. There is always times you have to wait such as in the doctor’s office, while you wait in the drive thru line, or when you’re traveling around town on errands. Every minute counts, and if you challenge each other on the number of books you can read this year, you will see that your expectations will be far exceeded. By next summer, that routine will be in place, and Summer Slide will NOT be an issue for your child.
Have a wonderful back to school, and I hope that your child blossoms this year. (and I hope the same for my own too. 🙂 For more thoughts on Parental Involvement, check out this freebie I put together last year. Teachers might print and keep it handy, but parents might see ways to get involved too. I like to post it outside of my classroom by the door. Parents see it each time they visit.