Get involved: it’s essential for student success

Partners Post, July 2014

Even though the kids are still enjoying summer break, it’s not too early to think about the coming school year.

The good news is that parents, families, and communities can help students be more successful. In fact, research concludes that when schools, families, and communities work together to support learning, students attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, earn higher grades, and enroll in higher-level programs. The evidence holds true for students at both the elementary and secondary levels, regardless of their parents’ education levels, family income, or background.

The research shows parental involvement affects students’ academic achievement across all races. In fact, parent and family engagement has been one of the few interventions consistently shown to provide positive, significant, and stable effects on language and literacy development regardless of time, geography, and developmental level.

Parents, caregivers, and caring adults play important roles in helping students succeed. Getting your child ready for school requires you to spend time reading, talking, and playing with your child. Educators offer these tips to help you prepare for a successful school year:

  • Create a home environment that honors the importance of education. Encourage learning and schoolwork. Reinforce learning as frequently as possible. Establish a daily routine with time for reading and homework.

  • Set aside an area for your child to read and complete homework and studies. It doesn't have to be a separate room, but it should be an area that is quiet and conducive to school work. Provide a space for school supplies and materials. It could be a separate drawer, or even a box that your child decorates.

  • Model the habits of a lifelong learner. Let your child see you reading, writing, and using technology. Talk about why education is important and discuss the importance of learning and growing.

  • Identify a place at home where you’ll keep backpacks and school materials so they are ready each morning.

  • Make sure your child has an outfit ready for the first day of school. It doesn't have to be new, but it should be something that makes your child feel confident.

  • Think about the bus stop or transportation arrangements. Consider taking a practice walk or ride to observe how long it takes to get there. If you're not going to be home when your child arrives in the afternoons, make plans now and set expectations for checking in with a phone call or text, starting homework, and other concerns.

  • If your child has a summer project or reading assignment, now is a good time to check progress to be sure it will be completed on time and ready to be handed in on the first day.

  • Let your child know you care and that you value education and its importance in his or her life. Remember: your encouragement has a lasting impact on self-confidence, so offer it frequently.




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