Research shows that parental involvement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism and restores confidence among parents in their children’s education.
“Children need parents who have an interest in what’s going on in the classroom,” said Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association. “Parents must do everything they can to get their children fully engaged at school, reinforce their learning at home and develop a strong relationship with their teachers.”
NEA, the nation’s largest educators organization, offers the following tips for parents on how they can ensure a successful educational experience for their children:
*Go to parent-teacher conferences. If the school doesn’t have them, set aside a time to meet with your children’s teachers. Ask how your children are doing and review their work. Let the teachers know how and when it is best to reach you. Finally, ask how you can support your children’s learning at home.
*Visit the classrooms. Getting a firsthand look at what is going on in your children’s classrooms will help you stay informed about what they are learning at school.
*Join the PTA or other parent group. Go to school events, such as back-to-school night. As a group, parents can help schools reach their goals.
*Pay attention to what your children are learning at school. Be aware of what they need to know to meet the standards set for their grade level.
*Contact the school if you have any concerns.
Parental involvement also means reading to your children, checking homework every night, limiting television viewing on school nights or simply asking your children about their school day.
“Whatever your level of involvement, do it consistently and regularly because it will make an important difference in your children’s lives,” Weaver said.