You cannot expect to educate a child without involving the parents. I don’t mean the parents should learn in the class also but should be involved in contributing to the healthy development of the child both in academics and extra-curricular settings. Sadly, many schools are not successful in getting parents to take an active role in their child’s education. Some common mistakes such schools make are:
- Poor communication.
- Indifference to the individuality of the parents.
- Inattentiveness to the parent’s opinions.
- Making uninvolved parents feel guilty.
We share four easy and practical strategies that can promote successful parental involvement in your school.
1. Educate the Parents
Some parents may not have any experience in getting involved in their children’s academics. They’ll need direction on where to start and tips on how to get involved in a way that benefits the child. Engage parents by holding training and workshops that address:
- The importance of parental involvement.
- How to create a favorable learning environment at home.
- Ways to track a child’s progress in classes.
- How to encourage a child to develop positive study habits at home.
- How to guide a child to create academic goals.
Many parents may avoid attending these training sessions, using webinars also makes it possible to have face-to-face discussions with busy parents from any location.
2. Encourage Open Communication
Open communication between teachers and parents can help in establishing trust and building relationships. This can increase parental involvement. Start by introducing parent-teacher meetings at the start of the school year. Parents and teachers can share a bit about themselves and the parents can ask questions and give their opinions. This will set the tone for open communication throughout the year.
Open communication will encourage parents to share their child’s strengths and weaknesses. They’ll make the teacher aware of events happening at home that could affect the child’s behavior in class. Teachers can freely share the child’s progress and make recommendations to improve their social and academic growth.
3. Create All-Round Activities
Academic activities that get the parent involved such as collaborative homework are great. But it’s important to include school activities that promote social and emotional learning. Notable dates like father’s day, mother’s day, and the likes can be turned into school events whereby parents are invited. Who knows, the parents’ presence might just be the push the child needs in winning that debate.
You can also organize special parenting classes for parents that are having problems with their children. Parents can learn alongside their children about the importance of positive behavioral choices in improving feelings of self-worth. Parenting classes like this promote the child’s feeling of self-worth while increasing their interest in learning. As parent teaches their child, their parenting skills will also improve.
4. Personalize Parent Involvement
It’s advised to know each family and its unique characteristics. Work on tailoring school-based activities and communications to suit these needs. In a multicultural class, parents with limited English skills, for example, could get frustrated with their communication. This could cause them to avoid getting involved in their child’s education. They could feel uncomfortable attending school meetings and work with teachers.
Work on building successful partnerships with this group by providing information and materials in their first language. Bilingual school staff can also help in making communication, such as emails, in the parents’ first language.
Find innovative ways to address the specific needs of parents with disabilities. Accommodate them in the learning environment by including varying types of school events and activities. As much as parental involvement is beneficial to the child, some parents may take time to acknowledge it. Personalization is important in encouraging parents to be involved in their children’s education.