Did you talk to your child this morning about school? Did you know that talking to your child about school is one of the things that you can do everyday to improve academic achievement and create positive attitudes to learning? This is just one of the activities that makes a difference for student success.
In today’s Blog I highlight parent engagement activities that make a difference. Check out this article and the many more parent tips that you can find at Easter Seals Kids at School.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, research on parent engagement tells us that there is a direct connection between parent engagement and:
- Improved academic achievement
- More positive attitudes about school
- More success with homework
- Higher rates of high school graduation
- More consistent school attendance
- Fewer behaviour problems
- A brighter future for students at school and later in life.
Source: Ministry of Education Website, Parent Engagement Policy: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/policy.html
Schools have a key role in supporting parent involvement by creating a welcoming atmosphere at the school and providing lots of opportunities for parents to be in the school, or in contact with school staff. This can include open houses, literacy or numeracy evenings, or concerts where groups come together to learn what their children are doing and to meet teachers and other school staff. Parents can also volunteer in the school, help with special events of pizza lunch programs or school trips.
All of these activities help parents develop relationships with the teachers and other school staff and allows parents to know more about what happens at school and in the classroom. The positive relationships with teachers allows for frequent conversations about their child and better understanding of what the child is doing at school.
All parents want to do their best for their child and not everyone can volunteer at school or attend every activity. What else can parents do?
A review of the parent engagement research by People for Education shows that it is the home-based activities and attitudes that are more closely linked to students’ academic achievement and they have identified attitudes and activities that matter the most.
The People for Education research identified four things that improve student achievement:
- Parents having high (but reasonable) expectations of their children
- Parents talking with their children, particularly about school
- Parents helping their children develop positive attitudes towards learning and strong work habits
- Parents reading to or with their children
This means you can help your child by:
- Telling them that you think they are capable and can succeed at school
- Helping your child to believe in themselves and that they can be successful at school
- Talking positively about school and the value of education
- Talking to your child about school ( See Making Time to Talk tips below)
- Helping your child to develop good work habits by providing a space to do their homework and making sure they have the supplies they need.
- Encouraging them to complete their work on time and ask for help if they get stuck
- Reading to your child, taking turns to read or listening to your child read
Parent Tips – Making Time to Talk to Your Child
- Talk to your child on the drive to school or at the bus stop
- Ask specific questions about the school day on the way home or at the dinner table:
- What book did the teacher read or talk about today?
- What was your favorite thing that happened today?
- What did you and your friends do at recess?
- How did you feel about the math test this morning?
- Talk to your child about their homework
- Ask your child if they need help or if they would like you to review their work
- Ask when assignments are due and if they need any special supplies, like colored paper, Bristol board or a report cover
- At the end of the day or bedtime ask what they are looking forward to the next day at school
I hope that you find these tips helpful in supporting your child’s success at school. If you have any other tips for parents that you have found helpful, please let me know.