Home-school partnerships help teachers develop strong relationships with their students and motivate parents to cooperate with teachers to improve academic performance. Parents also can learn basic teaching concepts, learn with their children and get to know others in the community while contributing to schools by volunteering.
Parent involvement in schools leads to higher grades and test scores and better attendance and homework completion records, the North Central Regional Educational Library's website points out. These students also are likely to graduate and pursue higher education because their parents have taken an interest in their education and serve as role models.
Getting to know their students' parents helps teachers understand the environment and economic, political or cultural influences that shape students' points of view and behavior. This leads to improved communication between students and teachers, enhancing trust, mutual respect and the education process.
Parents who get to know their students' teachers, about the curricula and the teachers' educational methods are more likely than those who don't to help children with homework and ensure it's completed. And, by holding enjoyable family activities, schools encourage parental attendance and interest in participating in other useful activities, such as fundraising sitting on decision-making committees and volunteering in the classroom. These activities also strengthen bonds between parents and children.
Education for Parents
Some schools establish family centers on site, where parents can visit and exchange information with each other and teachers and access resources, the North Central Regional Educational Library states. The Boston Public School system has a "Parent University" that teaches parents how to support teachers' educational efforts. But it also benefits parents directly by offering classes on financial management, health topics and English as a second language and computer-literacy training.
Benefits to Schools
Interacting and working with parents to improve students' education provides outside points of view on operations and policies that can improve them. For example, in a working class neighborhood, a school administrator might decide not to implement half-day attendance on Fridays, as some schools do, because parents can't take off from work or arrange for day care for their kids during the week.
Working parents who participate in school activities and decision-making are more likely than those who don't to attract workplace or community sponsorship for school activities and other financial support. Many businesses and foundations seek to give back to the community; this could take the form of paying for a new playground or for school athletic uniforms, for example.
- Photo Credit school bus image by michele goglio from Fotolia.com
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