How Can Parents Be Involved in Children’s Education? (page 2)
Parents’ involvement in their children’s education has beneficial effects on children’s learning and motivation. At the same time, as children get older it becomes harder for parents to stay involved due to increasing peer influence and children’s desire for parents not to “interfere” with their lives.
There are many ways for parents to stay involved in children’s education without appearing to be trying to control their lives. Some suggestions follow.
Encourage children to partake of activities in which most participants will display positive achievement beliefs and behaviors.
School clubs, musical groups, and athletic teams are examples. For students to be in activities and sports requires that they keep their grades up. Being busy requires that students learn time management and study skills. Although parents cannot control who will be their children’s friends, parents can help to steer children into peer groups that are composed of students who value achievement.
Assist children with course planning.
This becomes critical in high school. Parents can discuss with children and school counselors required courses and electives. This will ensure that children enroll in courses that match their capabilities and do not end up with either too easy or overchallenging course loads—both of which are detrimental for motivation.
Be aware of children’s homework, tests, and projects, and help them schedule time to complete their requirements.
Children often are unrealistic about how much time is needed to complete work. Most parents have had the stomach-sinking experience of their children saying nothing about a project and then announcing that the project is due tomorrow. It is good to establish a routine whereby parents ask children daily what homework they have and when assignments are due. The use of planners—common in middle and high school—helps greatly. Once requirements are known parents and children can discuss a schedule for completing the work.
Participate in school activities.
There are many ways that parents can be involved in school. Younger children generally do not mind their parents being in their classrooms. As children get older parents should continue to attend such functions as PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, “walk the schedule” nights, school athletic events, and school performances. Parents also can volunteer in unobtrusive ways, such as by working in the media center or at an after-school event.
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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