Parent Engagement is Key
Parent engagement is key to a child’s success in school
From our handbook :
XXIII – PARENT INVOLVEMENT
Children find security in a world where parents and teachers freely work together to create a rich learning environment. Hands-on experiences in music, arts and crafts, science, literature, language, and indoor and outdoor free play encourage skills necessary in later school experiences and in life. Interacting with a variety of children and adults fosters a close-knit community of learners and encourages tolerance of differences.
Parents benefit, too. In a recent annual survey by a well known cooperative preschool parents responded that they loved parent assisting because they learned so much about their own child, other children in the age group, and about responding to a range of childhood behaviors. Parents also said they met and formed close friendships with other families. Many friendships continue well beyond the preschool years. parents commented that the parents she met at CCP with her older children were the same parents she saw every year at PTO meetings, town meetings, and after-school activities. Meeting other parents who share the value of being directly involved in their children’s education is a wonderful characteristic of a cooperative environment.
As teachers we love learning, and we benefit from a cooperative environment as well. One of the greatest advantages of parents volunteering at preschool is that each family brings something new and special to the school every year. These experiences and skills enrich the learning environment and help the teachers keep their themed units and activities fresh and fun. The teachers also benefit from the close relationship they form with each family. Their understanding of each child is greatly enhanced because of this relationship, and it helps them to be more effective teachers.
Parent involvement has been proven to increase a child’s success in school. At Bright Beginnings we have personally seen the results of parent involvement. We do understand that some parents work or have smaller children at home and will make every effort to ensure there are after hours opportunities to be involved . It is your responsibility to find a way once a month that you can give time back to your child’s school. This is a “ family hour.” It can be done by mom or dad or even a grandparent. If there is a family event planned for that month the involvement can be counted at that time. I would love to see each family give an hour a week on a rotating schedule . EX. Every Monday from 8:00 – 10:30 we know that Debbie’s mom will be here in our classroom. On Tuesdays’ we know that Randy’s mom will be here. Danielle’s mom cant come on the same day every week but she can stay 20 minutes each morning to assist with sign in time. It is not that difficult, just chose a time and commit.
At the Discovery Dinners that were given at the beginning of the year I was not shy about the level of parent involvement I expected. If you work, I understand – job first. If you have a spare hour in a week you can stop in and play like Carrie did today ( 2nd week in our preschool ) it would be so very beneficial. Our preschool family is a high energy group that needs extra guidance. We could use you here. As a parent it might be eye opening for you to see your child interact with other children and adults. You were chosen to come here because of your indication at the Discover Dinner that you would partner with us.
Everyone’s life is busy, I get that. I understand that I also go extreme in creating memories and learning experiences for your little guys. They deserve that , right ? If I drive all over the state advocating for other children I would be remiss to not advocate for the ones right here in my own home. You are missing out. Missing opportunities to make memories . You are missing a chance to see first hand how your child lives at school and making that connection at home so that going in kindergarten will be an easier transition.
I hope I never ” dont have the time ” to be the best teacher your child deserves.
( Thank you Carrie for stopping in today to play. It is appreciated more than you know. )
From the ” experts ”
Parental involvement in the education of children should begin as soon as they start school. Early childhood, preschool, and kindergarten programs that train parents to work with their children at home tend to have significant, positive effects. Children who participate in these programs have better grades and ratings from teachers both of which tend to improve the longer they are in the program. They also make greater gains than children who do not participate in such programs (Henderson & Mapp, 2002).
Studies that compared levels of involvement found that achievement increased directly with the extent to which parents were engaged in the program. Children who participated from all family backgrounds and income levels made gains and in some cases, children having the most difficulty in school made the greatest gains (Henderson & Mapp, 2002).
And again :
Researchers at the University of Oxford found that children whose parents participated in the Peers Early Education Partnership (a program geared towards supporting families of children ages 0-5) “made significantly greater progress in their learning than children whose parents did not participate.” These strides where found in children ages 3-5, and included progress in vocabulary, language comprehension, understanding of books and print and number concepts. In addition, these children also exhibited higher self-esteem in comparison to children of non-participating parents (Evangelou & Sylva, 2003).