Written by a Clonlara School guest blogger (***Clonlara School does not endorse or recommend any product/service in connection with this author***)
Parental involvement is important for a child to experience the greatest chances of success in any academic program. However, many parents may wonder about exactly how much involvement they should have in their child’s education. While it is important to provide support to children and their educators, it is also important to provide a child with the proper amount of space for them to develop their independence. Therefore, the following explanation is provided to help any parent to find the right balance for becoming involved in their child’s education so that they can offer their child the best chances for success.
Importance of Parental Involvement
An educational system relies on the interactions that occur between parents, educators and students. Although a quality school system will be equipped with the right curriculum, teacher training and policies that are necessary to ensure the academic success of students, it will still need the support of parents to ensure that the concepts that are being taught are reinforced. Additionally, parent volunteers are often needed to help recruit talent, monitor special events and to sponsor extracurricular activities that help to provide students with a well-rounded education.
Types of Involvement
There are many different ways that a parent can be involved in their child’s education. One of the most common ways is by volunteering to help with special events. Fundraisers are one way that parents can be involved in helping to make sure that a school has the additional funding that they need for special services and supplies. Another way that parents can be involved is through offering individual support to teachers. This may occur through offering personal services, such as contacting parents, or by attending parent conferences and meetings. Because there is such a variety of ways that parents can be involved in their child’s education, it can be helpful to ask schools about areas in which they require a strong amount of parent interaction.
Reaching Out to Educators
Throughout the school year, educators often inform parents about ways that they can be involved in their child’s classroom experiences. They may send out supply lists or request volunteers for special activities. However, it is always welcome when parents contact a child’s teacher to inquire about any special needs that may be occurring in their classroom. This can allow an educator to make a specific request. For example, teachers often need help with chaperoning field trips or with decorating the classroom for special events.
Working with Other Parents
While one parent can create positive changes in the educational environment, several parents working together can create an even more dramatic impact. Some schools offer parent groups that a person can join in order to begin volunteering their services for important projects. Additionally, parents who have the same concerns can often team up to ensure that a particular need is met such as starting an after-school tutoring program. When working with other parents, it is important to maintain a positive focus that is directed towards helping to support academic instructors and other school staff. For this reason, it can be helpful to hold meetings that include everyone who is involved in the educational plan so that everyone can be working towards the same goals.
Supporting Education at Home
Many times, a parent may feel as if they are too busy to work directly within the school. Work or other obligations may interfere with a parent’s ability to volunteer at school functions. It is important for parents to remember that much of the most important parental involvement begins at the child’s home. Parents should always take the time to be involved in their child’s education by asking questions about their day, helping with homework and by keeping track of their progress. When a child knows that their parents are aware of their goals and willing to offer them the necessary support to succeed, then they will be more likely to remain focused in their classes. Additionally, parents should be certain to maintain regular communication with their child’s teachers in order to ensure that they are able to reinforce the concepts that are being taught during a child’s academic school day.
Knowing How Much is Enough
Being involved in a child’s education will always lead to positive benefits. If a parent is just beginning to become involved in their child’s education, then it can be helpful to start small at first by beginning to implement a study time in the home. Then, a parent can begin to work with teachers in order to determine needs that exist in the educational environment that could benefit from their additional skills. The amount of involvement that a parent should have in their child’s education will vary according to each person’s available time, patience and abilities. However, it is essential that every parent be involved in their child’s education regardless of how small they may think it seems.
When it comes to parent involvement, even the smallest of efforts will lead to significant benefits as a child begins to experience the rewards that come from knowing that they have their parent’s support. Over time, they will begin to experience increased grades, self-esteem and a positive attitude toward their education that reflects the efforts that their parents have contributed to their success.
Author is affiliated with Junior Achievement Colorado is a nonprofit specializing in the furthering of financial literacy in children in Colorado. Volunteer today to help a child become more business savvy through http://www.jacolorado.org/educators/curriculum.