November is Family Engagement in Education Month in Florida. This month parents are encouraged to communicate and include the school into their routine. Parents are encouraged to eat lunch with their children, set aside time to help their children with their homework, and support, communicate with and celebrate teachers, substitute teachers, and the community.
If you are a parent who is involved with your child, you are probably already doing this. To give your child a better chance at a good education, parents need to be involved. Teachers cannot go home with each student to help them and make them do their homework. Parents and caregivers need to ensure homework gets done and is understood.
This month try to start a new routine that includes school involvement and participation from you. Here are a few ways for you to get involved with your child’s education and future success.
Schedule a parent-teacher conference. Then, go to the appointment. Find out how your child is doing in school, where they need encouragement or help, and ask the teacher how you can help your child. The teacher is going to be able to give you insight you might not think of because they see your child in the classroom environment.
Volunteer at your child’s school. Your child’s teacher may appreciate a little extra help. Just remember the teacher may need to find you something to do, so give them a little notice.
Find out what your child is doing at school. Some parents do not want to believe their little angel may be acting inappropriately at school. Most schools will let you observe your child and the classroom with a 24 hour notice. Any parent of a disabled child, I highly recommend this. You will find out what your child is learning and what the teacher is teaching. The observation may even give you ideas to try at home.
Join the PTA or parent organization in your child’s school. More importantly, go to the meetings. If you want to know about your child’s school and the education that it can provide, joining the parent organization will give you insight.
Talk to your child about their day at school. Make them tell you what they did. For younger children you may have to coax them and ask them specific questions, such as what book did you read? Communicating with your child is an excellent way to bond with your child and learn what they are doing in school. Your interest in school will encourage them to be more interested in school.
Eat lunch with your child at school. Letting your child know you are there for them will inspire confidence in your child. If you cannot get time to eat lunch with your child, pack notes in your child’s lunch box. The note will be just as effective as eating with them. Your child will know he or she is loved and thought of even if you are not physically there.
Set aside time for you to help with homework. Give your child time to do their homework and if they need help, be available for consultation. They may need a little push in the right direction and just cannot understand the instructions. If you do not know how to help them, make sure the teacher is aware of the problem. Let your child know it is okay to ask the teacher for help, that is why they are there – to educate.
These few tips will help your child in school and in future success. The time spent with your child now will pay off as you see them as a responsible adult.