5 Tips to Get Involved at Your Kid's School

Be cool! Help out at school.

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Why Don’t Parents Get Involved?

Problem: Most parents don’t know how to get involved or who to ask about doing so. Parents feel like they’re not welcome and schools feel like parents don’t want to participate.

Solution: Communication. Talk to your child’s teacher, school counselor, or principal and see how you can help.

Two Way Street

Problem: Most schools treat parents and home-life as separate from school. Sure, parents get the monthly newsletter or weekly updates on the website, but how can parent be active in that process?

Solution: Not a surprise—communication. A two-way communication system is critical to student-parent involvement at school. Ask the school if there is any way for parents to help, perhaps a school community web portal or the ability to post and ask questions on the school’s website.

Help Me Help You

Problem: Homework is student centered. Most homework is designed to be hands-off from the parents, and parents feel like they’re not certain how to help their child with his or her homework.

Solution: Homework that requires both the parent and the child to interact: an interview using the parent as a source, or a math recipe problem that asks students to make cookies using a metric conversion chart. Ask your teacher if there are any specific assignments that you and your child can do together.

Work Together

Problem: Parents don’t know how to get involved and schools don’t know how to get them involved.

Solution: Teach both the teachers and the parents how to work together. See if your school offers workshops or if your child’s teacher can send home a weekly report of what the class is doing.

The Personal Touch

Problem: No different than every child having his or her own learning needs, every school is different and has its own needs—what works for one school may not work for another.

Solution: In order for parents to successfully help their school, they must respond to the school’s specific needs. Whether it’s a bake sale for computers or a car wash for the debate team, to truly make a difference at your child’s school, make it personal and find out what it needs.

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