Tips for Parents - School and Teacher Relationships
Research shows that one of the most important
factors that affects a child's performance in school is parental
involvement. All too often, parents assume that just sending their children
to school and looking at their report cards is enough. Not true! If you want
to be involved, if you want to actively participate in the relationship
between your child and the school, there are some things you can do to make
this relationship positive and productive. Read on. Also, be sure to check
Sites for Parents and Kids.
Methods for Parents to Get to Know Their
Child's School Better
First of all, don't just show up at the
school; make an appointment to visit.
After you've made an appointment, go to the school; look around, talk
As appropriate, call or write to your child's teachers.
Talk to other parents about
Be sure to read the minutes of
the school board, which are usually printed in the local newspaper.
Take time to read the
It may not always be convenient, but try to attend school functions
such as open houses and PTA meetings.
How Parents can Help with their Children's
There are things you can do that will help your
child do assigned homework and that result in learning, which, after all, is
the reason for being in school.
your child about school. This includes talking to him about his friends,
activities, teachers, and assignments.
Show enthusiasm about school and
Set realistic goals for your
child, and then focus on one at a time.
Help your child get organized. Break down assignments into smaller, more
manageable parts. Set out needed items (clothes, homework, permission slips,
etc.) the night before to avoid last-minute rushing around in the morning.
Provide a quiet study corner in
your home complete with paper, markers, a ruler, pencils and a dictionary.
Never do your child's homework!
Check with your child's teacher
about correcting homework.
Expect, and praise genuine progress
and effort. An opinion: don't praise or otherwise reward your child for
doing what you and he know is
expected. This practice leads you down a slippery slope, often with really
bad consequences for you and your child.
Be specific when you do praise
Focus on your child's strengths
Build associations between what
is taught and what your child already knows and understands.
Incorporate concrete materials
and examples whenever possible, especially with younger children. Try to
help your child learn about the subject in more than one way, using as many
senses as possible.
Separate your child's school
weaknesses from your child. If your child fails a test, that is all the
child fails. He or she is not a failure.
One more thing: Never
do your child's homework! (deliberately repeated)
Questions to Ask at a School Conference
Is my child performing at grade level in basic
skills? Above/Below? Math/Reading?
What are the objectives my child is supposed to
attain? How do these objectives lead to the overall goal for the
What achievement, intelligence, or vocational
aptitude tests have been given to my child in the past year? What do the
scores mean? (Be very specific and be sure you understand completely what
the reported scores mean).
What are my child's strengths and weaknesses in
major subject areas?
What subjects do my child enjoy most?
Can we together go over some examples of my
child's class work?
Does my child need special help in any academic
Who are my child's friends and how does he or
she interact with other children?
Has my child regularly completed assigned
Has my child attended class regularly?
Have you observed any changes in learning
progress during the year? Has learning improved or declined during the year?
Nice things said