2017 Oct 18: RES Parent Involvement

Parent involvement, as I have emphasized in many past articles, is critical to the development of a child. This week Rockdale Elementary Principal, Alisha Eoff, has more tips on how to be engaged with your child, and help them to succeed in school and later in life.

At Rockdale Elementary School, we encourage any kind of parent involvement.  This week our article focuses on some simple steps that you can take at home to improve your child’s education by getting more involved in conversations about school with your child.  One of the best ways that you can get involved in your child’s education is by simply having a conversation with your child.  It is easy to ask a simple questions such as, “How was your day?”, but we want to give you some tips to take that conversation further with your child.  

One way to do this is through asking to see their Take Home Folder each night.  Each teacher at the elementary uses this as a way to communicate to parents the goings on of the classroom.  Within each folder, you will find class newsletters, educational focuses for the week, daily discipline, take home notes, unfinished homework, and completed work.  We encourage you to look at completed work to find out what your child is learning about and how well he or she is doing.  For example, you could comment on her math homework by saying, “You know a lot about addition and counting money, let’s see if you can count some now.” This not only involves the child, but also shows the child that you have an interest in his or her learning.  

Another way to do this is by asking your child to show you their homework.  Ask them to explain the assignment to you so that they can show that they know what they are supposed to do.  This will help to build their confidence, too.  In addition, you can take some of these assignments and topics to use as a jumping-off point for an activity to share with your child.  For example, several of our classes are going to visit the Rockdale Fair and Rodeo.  While there, they will learn about different animals and their habitats, and their feeding and sleeping patterns.  You could encourage your child to share which animal they liked learning about the most, and read books or attend a zoo to learn more about those animals.  

Not only can you ask your child about academic interests, you can also ask your child about his or her feelings associated things that happen at school.  Some examples might be, “What was one way that you were helpful today?”, or “What made you laugh at school today?”, or “What was the coolest thing that happened today, and why was it so cool?”  These questions will start conversations with your child and will hopefully give you some insight into what their thoughts and feelings are while they are at school.  

Finally, one of the best ways to have conversations with your child is to read with them at night.  This can be a special time with you and your children.  You can turn the television, phones, and computers off, and simply share a book with them.  During the story you can ask questions about what is happening in the story, what may happen next, or why they think the character is acting a certain way.  You will end up having some quality time and great conversations with your child.  

Through thoughtful questioning, looking through their folder, and spending time reading and having conversations with your child, you strengthen the home and school connection.  A strong school and home connection and increased involvement in your child’s education will help them to be more successful.