Why get involved in my child’s education?
Research  has shown that students benefit from parent involvement in many ways:
- Better grades
- Better attendance
- Higher graduation rates
- Better self-esteem
- Less drug and alcohol use
- Less violent behavior
What can I do to help my child do well in school?
This resource page from the National Education Association answers that question and more with practical advice on helping with homework, getting involved at school, learning at home, and helping your child like school. The links will take you lots more information, including pages in Spanish.
According to the Michigan Department of Education , parents whose kids do well in school support them by:
- Having a regular, daily routine, which would ideally include:
- Keeping tabs on kids’ after-school activities and making sure they are supervised.
- Showing your kids you value learning, self-discipline, and hard work.
- Setting realistic, but high goals and standards for your child.
- Encouraging progress in school by showing interest in your child’s schoolwork, helping with homework, and staying in touch with teachers
- Guiding TV viewing, reading aloud, taking trips, having books around the house and doing other activities to stimulate your child’s mind.
- Going to the school regularly, so your child will view home and school as being connected, and will view school as an important part of the family’s life.
- Ready or Not…Preparing Young Children for the Classroom tells what parents can do at home to help young kids be ready for school.
- Building parent-teacher partnerships in the early years.
- Homework: A Guide for Parents, from the National Association of School Psychologists, is a complete guide, and talks about everything you need to know from setting up homework routines, to motivating your child, and sibling issues.
- Answers to Questions Parents Ask About Schools from the US Department of Education. Use this table of contents to go to chapters on many topics including monitoring school work, helping with reading and working with schools and teachers. The online booklet is also available in Spanish.
- A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement
Cool stuff to do with your kids to show them you enjoy and value learning:
- Tryscience has lots of activities and resources for families that promote science education. Find out how to be involved in your child’s science education.
- Try these everyday math activities with your kids in the course of your daily routine: Math for the Fun of It. They’re from the US Department of Education.
- Between the Lions is a PBS kids’ show that focuses on beginning reading skills for kids aged four to seven. The Between the Lions Web site has online games, and also off-line activities for parents and kids to do together.
- For more everyday reading-related activities, see YourChild: Reading and Your Child
- Read Write Now! offers reading and writing activities for kids and parents. They’re organized by age group, including preschool to age two, and grades three through six.
Related topics on YourChild:
- YourChild: Parenting Resources
- YourChild: Reading and Your Child
- YourChild: Managing Television: Tips for Your Family
- YourChild: Television
- National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) supports and speaks for kids and youth, helps parents learn the skills they need to raise and protect their kids, and works for parents and the public being involved in the public schools of our country. Call 800-307-4782.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a group for people who work in education and childcare. They have online handouts (Early Years are Learning Years), and brochures and books for parents that you can order. Their primary focus is on the preschool and kindergarten years.
- The National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education strives to advocate the involvement of parents and families in their children's education, and foster relationships between home, school, and community to enhance the education of young people.
- From the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, part of the US Department of Education, come three publications:
- Parents for Public Schools is a national organization of community-based chapters working to strengthen public schools. The group believes that quality public education is vital to democracy.
Compiled by Kyla Boyse, R.N. Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan
Updated February 2010
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