Parents can play a vital role in supporting the academic success of their children, but many are unsure of where to begin. Here are some ways to get started!
Connect with the School
Schools are eager for parental involvement and offer parent education sessions as well as numerous volunteering and leadership opportunities. Parents can engage with schools through becoming a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) member or leader, meeting with parent liaisons, or volunteering with fundraising efforts.
“Schools want parents to be involved any way they can,” said Andrea Herrera Moreno, Manager of Mi Casa Neighborhood Center at North High School. “Parents who show initiative in becoming involved with their child’s school are highly regarded.”
It is important to start the tradition of checking in with teachers and counselors as well as using school resources early on in a child’s education, but it is never too late to start. Parents should feel comfortable voicing concerns to school staff. In fact, teachers often require parent support when making certain decisions such as pulling overwhelmed students out of AP classes or allowing students to take on a heavy course load.
Encourage Involvement in Extracurricular Activities
“Each county has a different school system and places differing values on the various components of education,” said Andrea. “In America, students are evaluated holistically so their involvement in afterschool activities, along with performance in school, is highly valued.”
Because their brains are still developing, students tend to put more weight on immediate consequences rather than the long-term effects of a decision. For this reason, they often have a hard time understanding how their present hard work will pay off in the future.
Parents can help engage their children in school and afterschool programs by questioning their disinterest and helping them trouble-shoot those obstacles and barriers to participation.
Help Prepare for Life After Graduation
Students need parental support and encouragement when planning for life after high school. This support could mean help applying for colleges and scholarships, securing an internship, or exploring trade school options. Whatever a student’s career goals, post high school opportunities should be secured before graduation to ensure continued progress after high school.
Invest in Yourself
Finally, a parent’s investment in their own education is also an investment in their child’s education. Children who see their parents demonstrating perseverance and a commitment to learning are much more likely to incorporate these values into their own life as well.
To learn more about supporting your child’s education or investing in your own, contact Mi Casa’s Family Programs Coordinator Andy Figueroa at 720-424-0379 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Mi Casa’s Neighborhood Centers click here.