We all want our child to get the best education possible. We all want or child to get good grades and have a positive school experience. We all want out children to value learning and to be exited about all the possible things they can discover in school. One way to encourage this is to make sure you show your child education is important by being involved in their school. Here are a few ways:
1. Get to know you child’s teacher. This is the most important thing you can do so you can be partners, both working for what’s best for your child. Having open communication will make a teacher feel they can come to you with even the smallest concern and visa versa. One way is to write a friendly email. Use this opportunity to introduce yourself in the beginning of the year and welcome any praise or concerns regarding your child. Offer to help out anyway you can. Don’t wait until your child is struggling or you have a complaint to contact them.
2. Support the teacher. This means respect the teacher’s rules and goals. If you don’t understand them or disagree respectfully write an email and ask for an explanation. Many times the rules are there for a reason and there’s a very good reason for it. If the rule isn’t hurting your child then they should be following them even if they differ from your rules at home.
3. Join the PTA. This is a great resource to find out what needs to be done in your child’s school. There are usually so many opportunities that you can pick and choose which volunteer opportunity you’d like. Not just that but you can meet other like-minded parents as well as get to know the teachers that administrators that attend these meetings.
4. Make a calendar and write all of your child’s homework down to help the keep track. Homework is so important because it lets your child find out which parts of their learning they understand well enough to complete independently at home. It also shows your child’s teacher that you are willing to keep your end of the education process by helping your child get it done.
5. On a similar note make a chart that tracks whether or not your child does their homework. I didn’t reward for doing homework because I feel that is my son’s job but I did give him a lot of praise each week when he completed every assignment. Now that he’s 11 he’s so trained he just does it on his own as soon as he gets home.
6. Attend all open houses, conferences, and school events. This shows your child and the school that you care. Make it a point to at least say hello to the teachers and try to make friendly conversation. I feel that teachers treat me and my son better when they see me around the school a lot.
7. Pick your child up from school every now and then. I aim for once a week. This is a special treat for your child but making sure your seen around school is important. While you’re waiting for your child you can chat with other parents who are picking up. Many times it’s a great way to hear how other families feel about the school and the teachers.
8. Provide resources at home to encourage learning. Most schools send home a list of supplies needed for the school year but even if they don’t you should have some basic supplies such as lined paper, blank paper, sharpened pencils, a ruler, colored pencils, erasers, and a dictionary.
9. If you have a complaint about your child’s school think of how you can help to fix it. For example, if there is bullying outside at recess organize a volunteer list so parents can come in and volunteer at recess.
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