Public schools in the United States are getting a bad rap these days, which may leave you, as a parent, worried about the state of your child’s education. However, much of the way your child responds to their education starts at home. Both teaching and parenting share modeling as a common tenet, and if you model behaviors that suggest to your child that you care about their education, the odds are good that they’ll care more about it as well. Here are five reasons why you should become involved in your child’s school.
Improved grades. Students with involved parents display higher academic achievement than their peers whose parents aren’t as involved. Involvement can be as simple as helping your child with their homework – not just making sure it’s been done – or it can include actual volunteer time at the school. Many schools are looking for aids or para-educators to help out in their classrooms. If you have the time to volunteer (or make some money as a para; though it differs from state to state, many schools will hire you part-time if you have earned a bachelor’s degree), you will show to your child that you care. Drama, music, and sports programs all lend themselves to parental involvement. How can you help out?
Improvement in behavior. If you are worried about your child skipping school or becoming a disruption in the classroom, showing that you have a presence at their school is a way to help guarantee better behavior.
Continued education. Parental involvement also shows to the teachers that you care as well, which, especially if you volunteer, takes some of the pressure off them, leading to more effective pedagogy. Studies have shown that students with involved parents are higher academic achievers and more likely to go on to college and graduate school, where they may pursue such degrees as an MBA online program.
Confidence. Many students don’t feel supported by their parents. If you are involved, you offer your child the opportunity to feel more confident about their academic achievement because you have shown that you have confidence in their ability to succeed. If you feel that school is important, your child will feel better about it as well. Your child also stands the chance to feel more accepted at school as well. At a time when so many students, especially high schoolers, feel that school is a waste of time, your involvement is more important than ever.
Why you benefit as well. Parents are also teachers, in the way that you mold and shape your child for five years before they ever enter a school building. If you’ve never taught before, you might learn a thing or two from your child’s teachers. Spending time at the school may offer you some different perspectives or parenting techniques that you have, perhaps, not considered before. You may also decide to go back to school yourself – perhaps you’ll finish your bachelor’s degree or work toward a master’s. It’s never too late to continue your education!