Written by: Katricia Thompson
Education is one of the most important aspects child development and a vital component to achieving life goals. Beginning with kindergarten and progressing up to 12th grade, children are constantly learning, growing, and embarking on new adventures. As a parent, you have many essential functions and one of the most crucial functions is influencing and supporting child’s educational experience.
What can parents do to contribute to a good educational experience?
1.Talk to your child about school
Engaging in conversations with your child about school is a good relationship builder and helps to facilitate communication. At any age it is important to ask, “How was school today?” and “What did you learn?” because in communicating with your child you are able to gather information about how well they are doing in school. This will also allow you to understand if they need additional assistance with school.
2. Be your child’s role model
A child’s commitment to their education begins with their role models. Parents are the first role models for children. Demonstrating that education is of strong value to you will foster those same values in your children. Encouraging your child to persevere through hardships with schoolwork and demonstrating the ability to ask for help when needed will promote the use of these skills in school and other environments.
3. Build relationships with your child’s educators
Communication is a major factor in ensuring a child is able to navigate education. Do not be afraid to ask your child’s teacher how you can best communicate with them and provide them with the information to best communicate with you. If there are any concerns that you or your child’s teacher have, the communication you established will allow needs to be readily addressed and your child to be supported in the most preventative manner.
4. Join parent groups
Time is so precious and often people are pressed for it. However, it may be worth it to join parent groups with your precious time. Parent groups such as the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), parents of athletes or support groups allow you as the parent to be involved with your child’s school and other parents who are navigating some of the same situation you are. People who support others need support and that includes parents who are supporting their children.
5. Attend school events
We are a community! School events such as choir concerts, football games, art exhibits and many other school events are a great way to help strengthen the sense of community your child experiences in the school environment. Your involvement helps your child to not only receive your support for their positive involvement but also enhances their development.
6. Advocate for your child
Be a voice for your child and let them know that they matter. Every child is different and what may work for one child, may not work for another. Parents can voice concerns for the best interest of their child to ensure they receive the proper resources, supports and accommodations they need. It is important to know your rights and your child’s rights in relation to their education. There are also staff members such as guidance counselors and school social workers within your child’s school that can help you with advocacy as well.
Knowledge is power and your child’s education is essential to their development. They need you to ensure they can do their very best at any age in school and make it to that glorious graduation day! Get involved, ask questions, do your research, connect with others, and let your child’s needs be heard! Parents are some of the unsung heroes when it comes to children but if there is one moment we can hold out hope for it’s the moment they utter the words “Thank you for all that you do!”. Until then, keep writing those imaginary IOUs and be the best parent you can be!
Center for Parent and Teen Communication. (2020, March 10). 11 Ways Parents Can Get Involved in Schools. Retrieved November 1, 2020, from https://parentandteen.com/school-involvement/
Hartwell-Walker, M. (2018, October 08). Advocating for Your Child within the School System. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/advocating-for-your-child-within-the-school-system/
Military One Source. (2018, November 9). Military Child Education at Home and School. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://www.militaryonesource.mil/education-employment/for-children-and-youth/pre-k-to-12-education/supporting-your-child-s-education-at-home-and-school