The dawn of a new school year provides a host of opportunities for students and their families. Students begin a new school year with a clean slate, while their parents can look at the start of the school year as an opportunity to take active roles in their children’s education. Parents who pursue that opportunity can have a profound impact on their youngsters’ academic success.
According to an analysis from the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, students perform better in the classroom and enroll in more advanced classes when schools and parents work together. Parents who want to take a more active role in their children’s educations can consider these three simple means to doing just that.
- Help children establish academic goals.
The National Education Association notes that the most significant type of parental involvement is what moms and dads do at home. Before a new school year begins, parents can discuss academic goals with their children. Be as specific as possible when establishing goals so kids have something definitive to work toward during the school year.
- Foster a strong learning environment at home.
Numerous studies have highlighted the effects that strong home learning environments can have on students. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that something as simple as playing games with numbers with children can improve young students’ ability to understand and work with numbers. Continuing to foster that same environment as students continue their educations is equally beneficial. Establish quiet hours after school so kids can concentrate on their homework free from distractions. When kids ask for help, offer it promptly. Such a response sends the message to students that school is of the utmost importance.
- Become more involved at school.
Of course, it’s not just what parents do at home that can have a profound impact on their children’s educations. If possible, take an active role at school as well as at home. Get involved with parent-teacher organizations and/or offer to assist with extracurricular activities. Parents also can attend board of education meetings to learn about the happenings in their children’s school district. Such meetings typically provide parents with an opportunity to comment publicly on any issues they feel are important, providing a great channel for parents to communicate directly with decision-makers.
Parents can take various steps to be more active in their children’s educations, which can benefit students in myriad ways.