Schools are at the best position to offer support to the children in the school through interaction with their parents. The performance of the children in the school is a function of the school as well as home factors. It is very important therefore for the school to establish a system that will enhance the interaction of the school with the parents and that of teachers with the parents in order to improve the performance of their children in the school. The relationship between the parents and the teachers/school is also very important in social development of the child back at home.
Education experts argue that the only way to make a smart student is through the cooperation of the teachers and parents. Parents should be ready to work together with the teachers for their children to perform and become the best they can be in the future society.
The participation of the parents in the education of their children can be achieved through the following ways
- Keeping parents informed
- Parent Conferences
- Dealing with Parent Criticism/Confrontation
- School/Home in Interaction in Perspective
- Implementing and assessing new methods
Keeping Parents Informed
The school can improve the performance of the children through informing the parents on what is happening in the school. The school has the right to update the parents with any information regarding any school activity. This information is necessary for the parent to know and understand the child at home. Keeping parents informed enhances the bond between the school and the parent, which benefits the children in their education. A child would like to have their parents involved in the matters of the school because it makes them comfortable in the school. By the school informing the parent on the matters of the school, trust is formed between the child and the teachers (Christensen, 2001, pp. 76).
The involvement of the parent in the education of the child is not only important to the class performance, but also in the health of the child. Parents should understand that they are more influential in their children’s life and success in the school. The school should therefore give the parents this important opportunity to show concern for parents in their children’s education. The information given to the parents about the school’s activity and progress as well as the performance of their children help the children to shine academically and be able to cope more easily with the challenges of growing up for example bullying in the school environment.
Currently schools are using the internet to keep the parents informed about the school. The schools websites are designed in a manner similar to the social websites where parents can access their children information on performance; assignments follow ups, activities going on in the school and the school program (Berger, 2000, pp. 64).
The Parents Teachers Association, (PTA) is a committed resource that enhances the involvement of parents in the school matters through the updates the teachers give to the parents on individual child that help the parents to monitor the child performance and they can be able to assist their child in their weak points academically.
Parents’ conferences are meant for parents to be able to provide necessary information to the school about their children. The information that the parents give to the school administration helps the teachers in understanding the children at personal level. The conferences are done on different parents, such as the divorced parents who affect the performance of their children in education. The schools also hold conferences with parents aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency. As many children may get involved in the delinquent behavior that may affect their school performance and can be charged in the juvenile court. Parent’s conference can be made on the divorced parents to help their children in copping up with the changes in the family (Christensen, 2001, pp. 90).
During the parents’ conferences, the teachers get to know the individual parents of the children and they can identify various problems facing the child that can hinder his or her academic performance.
From research, it have been found out that parents with higher education and with high economic power are more involved in the school matters that influence their children than those parents without high education or with low economic power. However all parents are capable of at least attending the parent conferences held in the school in order to assist in the education of their children. The reason why teachers may pay attention to a child is because the teacher may have had time to interact with the parent of the child during the conference and the teacher was able to acquire some information about the child that may assist in finding a solution to the problem of the child in the academic performance.
Attending school events and school conferences can assist the parent in gathering necessary information about the child performance in the school and can improve the performance of the child. School conferences can assist in solving the problems facing the child at home. In divorced families, the school can assist in the handling of the child in order to face new changes in the family. The school can ensure that the parents’ conferences are effective in accomplishing the main goal of the conference which is to improve the performance of the child in school through the following:
Conference with every parent twice a year or at least once a year which keeps the school updated about the changes in the home environment of the child and also the changes in school about the child’s performance. The conference should be followed up well enough to ensure each parent attends the conference at least once and allow participation. Participation of the parents strengthens the relationship between the parent and the school administration which enables the parents to be frank when providing any information regarding family relationship that may affect the child.
In a conference there should be language translators to ensure that the cultural diversity of the parents is met. When parents understand what is being discussed in the conference, they are in a better position to participate and cooperate with the school administration in improving the performance of the children. Translations also give room for parents to give their opinion on different issues concerning the school (Christensen, 2001, pp. 34).
The school should also give report cards and performance analysis of the children during the conference. Although the parents may have received the report cards via mail or email, it is of benefit to provide this information during the conference to help the parent and the teacher to be able to analyze on the performance of the child.
The school should organize in advance for the conference by making useful notices, memos newsletters or phone calls. By making these regular schedules, the school shows the parents the importance of these conferences. In the conference, the parents should be kept at par with any changes in the school policies, programs, courses or any other programs so that they can have something to contribute during the conference which will help in improving the performance of the children.
The conference should also inform parents of the progress of the school and its expectation in improving grades. They should also be informed on the importance of monitoring the performance of their children and conducting responsive activities to the school to address the problem of the children as early as possible (Coleman, 1984, pp. 65).
Dealing with Parent Criticism/Confrontation
The school has the role of dealing with the parents’ confrontation and criticism that may affect the children. The parents stress at home can affect the performance of the child in school. The teachers and parents in America have always blamed each other for the decline in the performance of the children. Teachers say that most of the problems that faces the child and hinders with his or her education, is related to the parents’ confrontation with their children at home.
These cases are very common with the divorced families where children live with one of the parents willingly or unwillingly. Children do not have a choice when it comes to this confrontations and criticism that may face them. This may affect their education and social life. The school has the responsibility to be able to identify such challenges that affect the child, and can call the parents to visit the school even if they are invited in different conferences in case where the relationship is very poor. By the school summoning the parent, the child can be exempted from future confrontation as the parents would not like to hear that they affect the education of their child.
There are a lot of programs that are directed to improve the child parent teacher relationship to avoid blaming of the two parties in the education performance of the child. The Parent as Teachers, PAT program was established to make the parents understand their role in supporting education of their children.
School/Home in Interaction in Perspective
The school home interaction makes the teacher to understand the home environment of the child and the parent to be able to understand the school activities and programs that affect the child’s performance. By both parties having a close interaction that can be formed in conferences discussed above or involvement of the parents in the governance process of the school makes the parents to understand the school in a better way and the teachers can have a chance to interact with the parents in understanding the child (Christensen, 2001, pp. 45).
Implementing and assessing new methods
The school should implement new methods in the school administration, programs and activities. The parents should be involved in making these necessary changes to the school that are aimed at improving the academic performance. The adjustments of programs in the school can change the learning attitudes of the child and boost their academic performance. The parents and teachers can make this successful by incorporating ideas in making and implementing changes (Berger, 2000, pp. 89).
Parents are educators and should be involved in the education system. The involvements of the parents in the education system help in the improvement of the performance of their children in school and can also help to boost their social lives. The success of the school can only be met through cooperation between teachers and parents.
Berger, E. H. Parents as Partners in Education: Families and Schools Working Together. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 2000.
Christensen, S.L, & Sheridan, S.M. Schools and Families: Creating Essential Connections for Learning. New York: The Guilford Press. 2001.
Coleman, M., Ganong, L.H., & Henry, J. What teachers should know about step families. Childhood Education, 60, 306-309. 1984.
Long, N. and Forehand, R. Making Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children Adjust. Chicago: Contemporary Books. 2002.