Do you feel as if you don’t have a clue what your kid does all day at school? Sometimes it can seem like pulling teeth to get your child to open up and tell you about her day. Or perhaps you know what they are learning but would like to feel more involved in the process. Mothers and fathers can and should take part in their children’s education. Red Apple Reading has 6 simple suggestions that will help parents become more involved in the education of their kids.
- Volunteer – One of the best ways to find out what goes on in your kiddo’s classroom is to pay frequent visits. I have learned a lot about my children’s daily routine and classroom atmosphere by volunteering for a couple of hours once a week. You will feel more involved and your child’s teacher will appreciate the extra help. Everybody wins!
- Check Teacher Websites – Most teachers these days have their own websites. Parents can easily check daily homework assignments, see what the class will be focusing on for the week, and learn about upcoming events. Ask your school what information is available to you online.
- Ask Leading Questions – Probably the most typical one word answer to, “What did you learn in school today?” is, “Nothing.” Don’t be discouraged by your student’s economy of words! Instead, try asking more pointed questions such as, “What are you studying in science right now?”, “What is one new thing you learned today?”, or “What book did you check out of the library?”. These questions will prompt your kiddo to give more than just a token response and will hopefully lead to some great conversations!
- Learn What They are Learning – I have to admit – my 3rd grader’s math problems befuddle me! It’s not so much that I can’t solve them; I just don’t solve them the way he does. After attending math night at my son’s school, I got a better idea of why they are using the methodology they are using and learned (a little) along the way. Don’t be afraid to open your child’s textbook and learn along with him. Chances are he will love teaching you a thing or two!
- Join a Parent Committee – If you are like me, you aren’t looking for one more activity to fit into your already busy schedule. However, organizations such as P.T.O. usually involve a modest amount of time and allow parents to become better acquainted with their kid’s school system and its staff. So stop avoiding those meetings and learn what’s going on in your child’s school/classroom.
- Look in the Backpack – Yes – that dreaded black hole where teacher’s notes and homework assignments go to never again see the light of day – the backpack! A daily perusal of your kid’s backpack can yield a wealth of information. Most teachers send home weekly updates, lists of assignments, and other pertinent information on a regular basis. Whether or not you receive these, is a whole other story. Don’t assume your student is giving you all the information you need. Look through her backpack regularly – there’s no telling what you may unearth (how long has that granola bar been in there anyway?!).
We would love to hear how you stay connected with your child’s education. Leave us a comment below and share your secrets with us!