Becoming involved – laying the groundwork in the elementary school years

The reality is that some parents have more time than others to become involved, but it’s important for even very busy parents to examine their priorities and carve out some time, even if it’s brief. Some schools are working out more flexible schedules so that working parents have more options. The National Education Association recommends some specific ways for parents to become more involved in their child’s education.

At home:

Read to your child — reading aloud is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success
Discuss the books and stories you read to your child
Help your child organize his/her time
Limit television viewing on school nights
Talk to your child regularly about what’s going on in school
Check homework every night

At school: Meet with a teacher or other school staff member to determine where, when and how help is needed and where your interests fit in. Volunteer time. Parents can:

Be classroom helpers
Tutor or read with individual children
Assist children with special needs
Help in special labs, such as computer or science
Plan and work in fundraising
Plan and accompany classes on field trips
Assist coaches at sporting events
Help out with arts and crafts workshops
Assist with a special interest club or drama group
Speak to classes about your career or special expertise
Help write press releases or local news articles
Work as a library assistant; help with story time
Vote in school board elections – know what the candidates stand for
Participate in parent-teacher associations and school decisions
Help your school set challenging academic standards
Become an advocate for better education in your community and state.

The possibilities are endless.

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