Parents, families, and caregivers play important roles in helping students succeed
Academic success is supported by a positive and strong partnership between home, childcare and school settings. From a recent policy statement on family engagement, “When families and the programs where children learn work together and support each other in their respective roles, children have a more positive attitude toward school, stay in school longer, have better attendance, and experience more school success” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education, 2016, pp. 1-2). Research shows that parents, family members, and caregivers play an important role in academic progress and achievement. So what is their role?
While teachers and other school professionals support student learning at school, parents, families, and caregivers can partner with schools and encourage a continuation of learning that will provide a solid foundation for academic success both now and in the future. Families and caregivers can help children develop a lifelong love of learning, by making learning come alive in a meaningful way through experiences and activities together. They can also foster a positive relationship with school and education, and advocate for children when additional help is needed.
There are many ways that family members and caregivers can help children succeed academically. Some examples include:
- Ask open-ended questions, especially about subjects the child is interested in
- Read together
- Check-in with the child’s teacher periodically, to see what connections could be made between school and home
- Learn something new together that you both enjoy
- Build relationships with school professionals
- Volunteer at school if possible
- Share important information about the child with school professionals
The partnership between parents, families, caregivers and school systems can build a strong foundation for achievement, both in school and throughout life. When family members and caregivers are encouraged to take an active role in a child’s education, everyone benefits. Central Rivers AEA can support this partnership by providing additional support and resources for those wanting more information or ideas.
Lindsey Humpal is an Early Childhood Consultant for Central Rivers Area Education Agency. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about how Central Rivers Area Education Agency serves your community’s students, families, and educators at www.centralriversaea.org.