Another school year has begun. Parents and students are back in the routine of packing lunches, checking homework and adjusting to new schedules. A new school year entails new responsibilities not just for our children, but for parents as well.
Research has shown that students whose parents and caregivers take an active role in supporting their education consistently perform better in class, have a greater interest in school and are more likely to stay in school than students whose parents are not involved. The more parents become involved in their child’s education, the less likely the student will have problems with absenteeism, classroom misbehavior and low levels of confidence. In fact, a home environment that encourages learning has been shown to be more important to a student’s educational achievement than family income, parental education level or cultural background.
There are a few simple things moms and dads can do each day at home that will do wonders for improving their child’s attitude toward school and learning. If your child is still quite young, the first and most important step to take is to read to your child every day. Reading to young children is the best way to stimulate their interest in reading and to plant the seed for a lifetime of learning. Once students can read on their own, it’s important for parents to encourage them to read independently.
Setting a positive example by reading at home or visiting your local library can more easily convince children that reading is an important activity. Ohio's libraries are among the best in the nation and offer many valuable programs and resources for Ohio families.
Parents should also check backpacks and homework each day to make sure children complete assignments and understand what they are learning. Helping with homework when needed and assisting with any difficulties the child may be experiencing will go a long way to foster a student’s successful performance in school.
It’s important to know your children’s teachers and to feel comfortable approaching them with questions about how you can best help your child to succeed. It is vital to attend curriculum nights, parent-teacher conferences and school activities. This will better help parents get to know teachers and what is expected in the classroom and at home. When children see parents at school and involved in the education process, they are more likely to take a deeper interest in school and be successful.
It’s easy for any parent to realize how important it is to train young children and prepare them not only for school, but also for the rest of their lives. The first things children learn come from what they see and hear in the home. This is why it is critical to provide a caring and positive atmosphere in which children can learn. Combining a nurturing home environment and parental involvement, along with dedicated teachers, are the keys to opening the door to a quality educational system.
While the Ohio General Assembly has and will continue to pass legislation with positive reforms for our schools and supporting our families who are most in need, the issue of a quality education will always be rooted in the family. No law or funding formula can instill the love of learning in a child that must be taught at home.