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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.
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.