Following quality teachers, family involvement in schools is a key factor contributing to student achievement. After all, student success stems from a shared commitment among families and schools to collaborate and support students. And when families are engaged, students are more likely to thrive.
From increased student achievement, improved classroom behavior, to boosted teacher morale, there are many benefits from family engagement. And research on family connections with schools reveal that parents of all backgrounds are interested in their children’s academic success. But fewer families may know what they can do to help their children. So how can you help more families get involved with their child's academics? Read on to discover our tips.
5 Tips to Increase Family Involvement
Invite Parents to be Partners - Many parents may not know which steps they should take to get involved with their child’s education, and schools might not know how to initiate collaboration with parents. As educators, we can’t expect families to get involved without showing them how. Create a plan with your teachers and team to work with parents as partners. For best results, offer parents training on learning resources, provide education around academic standards, provide ways to monitor their child’s progress, and share your common goals.
Create Opportunities for Involvement - Invite parents and other family members to get involved with daily activities. Family members can visit their child’s classroom, partake in classroom or field trip volunteering, and attend teacher-parent meetings. Initiating dialogues with parents provides another powerful opportunity for families to support their child’s education, and serve as a rich resource for schools. Launch public forums, surveys, and in-person discussions to give parents an opportunity to provide feedback.
Share Common Goals - Teachers and parents have a shared objective of helping children succeed in and out of the classroom. Parents always like to know how their child is doing, and also seek to prioritize their child's needs and experiences. Create a communication plan to share goals with families, and ask them to share theirs. Together, teachers and parents can ensure students are meeting objectives and getting their needs met.
Consider Time Constraints - One of the biggest roadblocks to parental involvement is lack of time, from both parents and teachers. To prioritize parental engagement in your school, make sure teachers have dedicated time in their day. Make it clear all faculty are expected to participate in the school’s efforts, and give them the time to do so. An effective engagement plan should also include ways for families to support their students on their own schedule.
Encourage Student Learning At Home - Parents can support their student’s school readiness at home, reinforcing the family-school partnership and helping their children reach goals. When parents have discussions and ask questions about what their child is learning it can deepen their conceptual understanding. Families can also familiarize themselves with the resources their child is using, and help their child reach their learning objectives at home.
ExploreLearning provides resources to involve parents with their children’s education. Our downloadable resources include parent letters, parent education, suggestions for at-home use, discussion topics, and more! View our parent engagement materials by product.
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