By Wendy Nakasone; School Support Services; Child, Youth and School Services; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii October 10, 2013
HONOLULU (Oct. 4, 2013) -- Success. That's what every parent wants for his or her child -- success in athletics, academics and life in general.
Many studies have been completed to research the impact of parental engagement on a child's academic success. Recent studies from North Carolina State University, Brigham Young University and the University of California-Irvine found parental involvement a more significant factor in their child's academic success than the qualities of the school itself.
Staying informed with your child's education is key to your child's academic success: checking homework, attending school events and parent-teacher conferences, and letting your child know the importance of education.
"It is extremely important that I am fully involved with their education. I am my child's advocate," said Jeri Duncan, who has a kindergartner and fifth-grader at Hale Kula Elementary. "The education system itself and teachers specifically have the tools, talent and knowledge to give my child an academic education, but my child is not their sole concern. Therefore, a partnership creates a better outcome."
Parent engagement is an important issue and is a topic of national discussion. The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) strongly encourages family engagement and has tips and resources on its website for parents to get involved. For instance, establish a daily family routine, including healthy eating and sleeping habits, check on homework regularly and ask questions about your child's work. Also, set high and realistic standards for your child. These are all simple things that parents can do for their child's success.
Partnering with your child's teacher is equally important. If you have a concern about your child's learning, speak with your child's teacher in private. Please be mindful and make it a point to never criticize your child's teacher in front of your child.
Duncan, who is also the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) president at Hale Kula Elementary, encourages all parents to get involved with their child's education.
"In the case of Hale Kula, with funding being a huge issue this year, the PTO can help fill in gaps," Duncan said, "but only with support and volunteer help from families. The PTO provides programs that enhance the educational experience and creates a link between the school and our community."
Your home also plays an important role in your child's success. In the morning, ensure that your child has a healthy breakfast, and give your child a hug before he ventures out the door. Look her in the eye and tell her how proud you are of her.
When he returns from school, create a predictable routine: Put your cell phone away, turn the TV off and spend 10 minutes talking to your child. When possible, create a specific space for homework and sit down with your child, when done, to review homework and check understanding. Lastly, sit down at the dinner table to have a meal as a family.
Many resources are available to help parents. The Military Child Education Coalition's Parent-to-Parent Program empowers parents to be their child's strongest advocate. The Hawaii Parent to Parent team facilities workshops on topics such as early literacy, bullying, Internet safety, time management and the college application process.
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