Research has shown that when parents become involved in their child's education, the student performs better than if the parents remain distant. There are many right and wrong ways you can get involved more in your child's education. Try a few of these ideas to make a significant improvement in your involvement.
- Ask questions. The best way you can get involved with your child's education is to ask him or her questions. However, you need to try more than just the typical, "What did you do at school today?" Try asking more specific questions about lessons in certain subjects. Do not accept "nothing" as an answer to your questions. Rephrase the question or try a different one to get a response. If your child is resistant to this type of questioning, give it some time, but don't give up!
- Talk with the teachers. Teachers may not always have the time to contact you about your student, especially if your student is doing well or even satisfactory. They are often too overwhelmed with problem students to be able to take time to give glowing reports as much as they would like. However, if you make the initiative to contact them and ask for a progress report or ask what you child is learning in class, the teachers will be glad to oblige with a response. It is also common for teachers to maintain websites or other online resources for you to keep up with homework assignments, projects, and lessons.
- Volunteer to help at school. Yes, you are busy. Everyone is busy nowadays. Try to take time out of your busy schedule to volunteer at your child's school. Take a day off of work to chaperone a field trip or volunteer to organize a bake sale for the Booster Club. This will give you the chance to interact with other parents and network with teachers and administrators. It will also show your child that you do care about them and their education.
- Offer to help with homework. This does not mean to do your child's entire science fair project. You can, however, help them search the internet or books for project ideas and even help color the volcano. This is a great way to bond with your child and also keep up to date with what is going on in his or her classes.
Your "new" plight to get more involved may be met with some resistance at first. Keep trying different questions and techniques until you and your child find an arrangement that suits both of you.