"The American family is the
rock on which a solid education can be built. I have seen examples all
over this nation where two-parent families, single parents, stepparents,
grandparents, aunts, and uncles are providing strong family support for
their children to learn. If families teach the love of learning, it can
make all the difference in the world to their children." Richard
W. Riley, Former U.S. Secretary of Education
INVOLVEMENT How To Help Children Succeed In
All parents and family members should try
to find the time and make the effort because research shows that when families
get involved, their children:
Family involvement is also one of the best
investments a family can make. Students who graduate from high school earn,
on average, $200,000 more in their lifetimes than students who drop out.
College graduate makes almost $1 million more!
Get better grades and test scores.
Graduate from high school at higher rates.
Are more likely to go on to higher education.
Are better behaved and have more positive
Most important of all, ALL parents and
families can enjoy these benefits. It doesn't matter how much money you
have. It doesn't matter how much formal education you've had yourself or
how well you did in school. And family involvement works for children at
all grade levels.
|Family involvement is a lot of different
types of activities. Some parents and families may have the time to get
involved in many ways. Others may only have the time for one or two activities.
But whatever your level of involvement, remember: If you get involved and
stay involved, you can make a world of difference.
Family involvement in education can
Reading a bedtime story to your preschool
Checking homework every night
Getting involved in PTA
Discussing your children's progress with teachers
Voting in school board elections
Helping your school to set challenging academic
Limiting TV viewing to no more than two hours
on school nights
Getting personally involved in governing your
Becoming an advocate for better education
in your community
Insisting on high standards of behavior for
Family involvement can
be as simple as asking your children, "How was school today?" But ask every
day. That will send your children the clear message that their schoolwork
is important to you and you expect them to learn.
Many children and parents are yearning
for this kind of togetherness these days. Among student aged 10 to 13,
for example, 72 percent say they would like to talk to their parents more
about their homework. Forty percent of parents across the country believe
that they are not devoting enough time to their children's education. And
teachers say that increasing parental involvement in education should be
the number one priority for public education in the next few years.
|Begin by teaching your child the magic
of language, words, and stories early on. Tell stories to your children
about their families and their culture. Point out words to children wherever
you go -- to the grocery, to the pharmacy, to the gas station. Laying a
foundation as soon as you can is the first step down the road to learning.
|Children who read at home with their parents
perform better in school. Show your children how much you value reading
by keeping good books, magazine, and newspapers in the house.
When your child finishes a book, talk about
it. Ask what was the book about? Did they like the book? Why did a character
act a certain way? What would they change in the story if they wrote it?
Let your children see you read
Take them on trips to the library
Get them a library card as young as possible
Let your children read to you
Talk about the books they read and ask questions
When parents and families get personally
involved in education, their children do better in school and grow up to
be more successful in life. Sounds like common sense, doesn't it?
Yet parental involvement is one of the
most overlooked aspects of American education today. The fact is, many
parents don't realize how important it is to get involved in their children's
learning. As one dad said when he began to read to his daughter every day
and discovered that it improved her learning, "I never realized how much
it would mean to her to hear me read."
Use TV Wisely
|Academic achievement drops sharply for
children who watch more than 10 hours of television a week, or an average
of more than two hours a day. Parents can limit the amount of viewing and
help children select educational programs. Parents can also watch and discuss
shows with their kids. This will help children understand how stories are
|Establish a daily family routine with
scheduled homework time. Studies show that successful students have parents
who create and maintain family routines. Make sure your child goes to school
every day. Establish a regular time for homework each afternoon or evening,
set aside a quiet, well lit place, and encourage children to study. Routines
generally include time performing chores, eating meals together, and going
to bed at an established time.
Talk And Listen
|Talk to your children and teenagers --
and listen to them, too! Talk directly to your children, especially your
teenagers, about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and the values you want
them to have. Set a good example. And listen to what your children have
to say. Such personal talks, however uncomfortable they may make you feel,
can save their lives.
|Express high expectations for children
by enrolling them in challenging courses. You can communicate to your children
the importance of setting and meeting challenges in school. Tell your children
that working hard and stretching their minds in the only way for them to
realize their full potential. Expect and encourage your children to take
tough academic courses like geometry, chemistry, computer technology, a
second language, art, and advanced occupational courses. But know your
child, and don't have unrealistic expectations...not every child excels
in math or science, just expect they never settle for doing less than their
And have expectations of your school. Your
school should have clear, challenging standards for what students should
know. For example, what reading, writing and math skills is your child
expected to have by fourth grade? By eighth and twelfth grades? What about
history, science, the arts, geography, and other languages? Are responsibility
and hard work recognized? If your school doesn't have high standards, join
with teachers, principals, and other parents to set these standards.
Keep in touch with your child's school.
Parents cannot afford to wait for schools to tell them how children are
doing. Families who stay informed about their children's progress at school
have higher-achieving children. To keep informed, parents can visit the
school or talk with teachers on the telephone. Get to know the names of
your children's teachers, principals, and counselors.
Parents can also work with schools to develop
new ways to get more involved. Families can establish a homework hotline,
volunteer on school planning and decision-making committees, help create
family resource centers, serve as mentors, and even help patrol school
|Article Source - U.S. Department
Nice selection of toys and learning
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Great games to stimulate and
Large selection of rhythm instruments
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bands. They are not made by toy companies. Choose from triangles, tambourines,
bells, shakers, sand blocks, rhythm sticks and much more. Please note,
these instruments are for children ages 3 and up.
Wonderful software featuring
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