While listening to the radio after dropping the kids off at school a few weeks back, I heard a group of city and school officials for the major metropolitan area in which I live talking about parents involvement in their children’s education. They all unanimously said that the biggest factor in the success of children in school was parental involvement.
I immediately perked up and listened. I have tried to be involved with my children’s schooling since they were babies in the on-sight daycare center here at work. I joined every volunteer group the daycare had, and have sat on the board of directors (it’s a not-for-profit facility and the board handles the books) for almost as many years as my children have been enrolled.
Now that my son (and next year my daughter) are off to elementary school, I have tried to volunteer my time there as well. I am in my second year of serving on the Principal’s Advisory Council, made of up parents from each of the grades, and I have been offering my help to the computer teacher as she tries to come up with a plan for upgrading the school’s computers without breaking the budget.
Every night, I sit down with my children and go through their homework. I check every paper as they do them, and review all of the papers that come home. We read a book at night before lights out and kiss goodnight.
Just about every minute I spend with them is involved, either directly or indirectly, with helping them learn.
But you know what? The panel of officials on the radio that day set the bar of parent involvement a little lower than that. To them, they were hoping that parents would get involved by making sure their children went to school; making sure they’d eaten breakfast; packing them a lunch. If the parent would actually spend time with their child doing homework, that was a bonus, and none of them even mentioned reading at bedtime.
My point is, being involved doesn’t mean overachieving, it just means spending time, how ever much time you have. These education experts said that just having a parent who cared whether or not they were in school helped motivate these kids to be there and to learn.
So, never underestimate how very much your attention can help, but also, don’t get discouraged if you can’t be room-mom, or lunch-dad, or if you work full-time and can’t spend the time during the day at your child’s school, though you might like to. Each and every minute you spend, being involved and interested in what your children do, matters. Each and every minute.
by Rocket Science Mom
Photo graciously provided by radioflyer007, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.