Parents are a Plus: How to Stay Engaged and Involved
Updated: Jul 25, 2022
Here at BCA, we believe that parents are an integral component to their child's success in the classroom and in life!
The right kind of parental involvement in their child's education is paramount to their child's success. A 2006 National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education study states that "No matter their income or background, students with parents involved are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school."
So, the question is, "What are some ways that I, as a parent, can be involved with my child's education to better position them for success in all areas of life?" The following five ways are identified to help answer that question:
Keep an Open Line of Communication
One way to do this is to "make yourself known." If you are new to a school, or new to a particular teacher's classroom, then take the earliest of opportunities to meet the teacher and any staff that may support your child's classroom learning environment. If the school offers a "Back to School Night" then take advantage of that early opportunity to not only meet the teacher, but to also ask any hanging questions you may have regarding the program, and/or offer any insights as to your own child's specific needs.
Another way to keep an open line of communication is to contact the teacher via email if there is any concern or conflict to be conquered. Many times conflicts arise through misunderstandings due to lack of communication. Nip these in the bud by diplomatically communicating your concern to the teacher and patiently waiting for a response. Note that everybody's time is precious and depending on the teacher's student population a certain measure of grace may need to be extended in their response time.
Reading information from the school to the student's household is yet another way to keep an open line of communication. These pieces of information can come in the form of hardcopy letters, emails, phone messages, and the school website, and may cover topics like school supply lists, upcoming programs and activities, field trip information, and so on.
“The most accurate predictors of student achievement in school are not family income or social status, but the extent to which the family creates a home environment that encourages learning, communicates high yet reasonable expectations for the child's achievement, and becomes involved in the chid's education at school." - National PTA
Keep Up with Your Child's Progress & Development
Student "marks" - or, grades - in specific subject areas remains the traditional primary measure of the pupil's progress. Make sure that you actually spend time not only looking over your child's grades, but also weighing them against to their previous marks in that subject. If there is improvement, praise and encourage to reach higher. If there is a declination, then investigate further starting by asking your child why their grade is going down. Typically, grades are just the starting point to a broader conversation on what tools the student may need to use and/or sharpen in order to experience a higher level of achievement.
In addition to grades, a parent can ensure much greater success for their chid by interacting with their curriculum. The author of this post has eight children, and yes, at times it may feel like torture, but listen to them read. Ask some basic comprehension questions after. Keep them accountable by holding them to a higher standard even at the end of your long day. It does not need to last long - 10-15 minutes. Observe them completing a few math problems, or quiz them on their science worksheet. Ask your child what their homework assignments assignments are comprised of and make sure that they show you the finished product.
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck." - Proverbs 1:8-9
Keep Encouraging Your Child
Let your child know that you are their biggest fan and that you are rooting for them! This "school thing" is a team effort and as the parent you have a huge impact on how your child perceives learning going forward. Will he/she view it as drudgery, or will they view it as a lifetime charge? Of course, when a student is not fully applying themselves to a task, it is important to be firm, yet loving, in demonstrating the importance of achievement, and achieving excellently. It is also important to develop well-communicated consequences if the capable child fails to execute his/her assigned tasks. Part of the parent's responsibility is to point their child to God's Word as they foster a godly obligation in the hearts and minds of their child, and, by God's grace, thus manifesting in their child a right attitude and godly work ethic.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." - Colossians 3:23-24
Keep Supporting the School & Staff
To support high student achievement, your child must discern your support of the school's philosophy, goals, and objectives. This recognition lends to a safe, secure, and nurturing learning environment where everyone plays on the same team and in one spirit! If there are any questions or conflict that arise - and inevitably they do - then take the communication advice above and move on.
Keep God at the Center of Your Home
Over 75% of children raised in the Christian church leave the church by eighteen years of age. That is no accident. If the kids don't see God as real within the walls of your home, then they're likely to ditch a faith they never really grasped or viewed as essential as soon as they can! Real faith can be taught from the earliest of ages in the home. II Timothy 3:15-17 sums it up best this way: "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." So parents, open your Bibles and teach, discuss, and memorize God's Word in your household, and in so doing "shew forth HIS salvation from day to day."
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment." - Genesis 18:19