10 Ways Parents Can Play an Active Role in Their Child’s Learning

October 28, 2022

10 Ways Parents Can Play an Active Role in Their Child’s Learning

The Nation’s Report Card noted that “In 2022, the average reading score at both fourth and eighth grade decreased by 3 points compared to 2019….” The pandemic took a toll on learning, but parents can help their child get back on track and parental involvement could be crucial to helping children.

Children whose parents are involved in their school have better academic success and are more socially confident. All parents can be involved in their child’s school experience. Here are 10 ways parents can play an active role in their child’s learning and at their child’s school:

  • Join the PTO/PTA
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Donate to events
  • Volunteer to help at an event
  • Pop in for a party or celebration
  • Bring a child lunch
  • Drop off in-person
  • Help in the library
  • Go to school events
  • Be a regular at parent-teacher conferences

Join the PTO or PTA

Schools typically offer a parent teacher organization (PTO) or parent teacher association (PTA). These parent-led organizations typically organize school fundraisers that help generate money for individual classrooms and the school.

PTOs also host and organize the school book fairs (also a fundraiser), teacher conference dinners, and other school events. There might be many ways for parents to get involved in their school’s PTO/PTA. Some parents might take a leadership role while others might sign up to volunteer for school events.

If the PTO is looking for members, consider joining if there is time. These groups are a great opportunity for parents to meet other parents and the school leadership.

10 Ways Parents Can Play an Active Role in Their Child’s Learning

Volunteer in the Classroom

Some teachers reach out to parents to ask for help in the classroom. When parents agree to volunteer in the classroom, they might need to take part in volunteer training courses or even have a background check.

Volunteering in the class helps parents take an active role in their child’s education and help other children, too. Parents might not always have the opportunity to help during instruction periods; instead parents might help out in creating bulletin boards or grading papers.

Donate to Events

Not all parents have the time to attend PTO/PTA meetings or to serve as an active member of the board. However, these parent-led groups often send out requests for donations for local events. Parents can sign up to bring an item for teacher conference dinners or donate items for a fundraiser.

Volunteer to Help at an Event

Parent-teacher organizations and associations also are typically tasked with organizing big school events, and they might need volunteers. Consider helping out at the school book fair or carnival.

Volunteering at these events is a great way to meet other families and be visible to the staff and teachers. Volunteering shows an active interest in the school and the school community.

10 Ways Parents Can Play an Active Role in Their Child’s Learning

Pop in for a Party or Celebration

Not all schools host class parties for major holidays, but some classes hold parties for fall or for winter. Teachers might organize class parties, or a group of room mothers could be tasked with arranging the party.

If a child’s class has a winter or fall party, consider volunteering to host a game or other activity. Room mothers also might request donations. Teachers might extend an invitation to parents, and, even if parents haven’t signed up to help, it’s fun to show up and watch the festivities. Many children love having their parents show up to these events.

Schedule Lunch at School

Some schools allow parents to have lunch with their child at school. Some parents pack their own lunch, while others use the opportunity to bring children a special meal.

While having lunch at school isn’t an in-class opportunity, it still allows parents to see teachers or to simply be present at their child’s school. Children might love the opportunity to have lunch with their parents, and parents have the opportunity to see aspects of the school community.

Drop Off In-Person

Older kids might want mom or dad to drop them off in the front of the school and leave promptly. However, younger children might like for parents to walk them to class.

Schools might prefer parents to drop off outside of school, but some schools might be fine with parents occasionally walking a child to their classroom. This is a great opportunity for parent’s to see their child’s room and even say ‘hi’ to their child’s teacher.

Help in the Library

Some parents might not feel comfortable helping out in a child’s classroom. The school’s librarian might need help sorting books or with other activities. Reach out to the librarian to ask about any volunteer opportunities.

Go to School Events

Parents who work might not have extra time or any time to volunteer during the day. Not all parents want to volunteer or even have the opportunity to volunteer.

One of the easiest ways for parents to get involved at school, though, is to simply show up for events and activities at the school. Take children to the school’s book fair or carnival. Go to a Bingo night. Some schools host a trivia night event that is only for adults.

Take time to attend school concerts, plays and other after-school events. Parents  also should be sure they are on the email list for all announcements from the school and the PTO.

Be a Regular at Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are typically held in the fall and spring. These are important meetings between parents and teachers to review a child’s progress and address any concerns.

Conferences can help parents understand where their child is struggling and talk to teachers about how to help. Teachers also might address any classroom concerns related to behavior, friendships or other issues.

Parents should make every effort to attend these conferences. While some parents might be unable to make time for the scheduled conference days, they could reach out to the teacher to arrange another conference time.

These meetings help parents and teachers build a relationship to better bridge the gap between school and home and keep lines of communication open.

How to Help at Home

While a parent’s involvement in a child’s school and classroom could help them feel more confident socially and have better classroom success, the learning environment also extends to the home turf. Parents need to be involved in their child’s after-school learning needs, too.

Most children have homework and are required to read daily. Parents should find time to go over any homework assignments and carve out reading time for children to ensure reading goals are met.

Parents are busy, and time could be crunched. However, completing homework assignments might help to ensure full mastery of a particular subject. In addition, regular reading is important to help children read fluently on grade-level.

Schedule a homework time to ensure children devote the time necessary to complete these assignments. Homework time might not begin immediately when the child comes home; many children need to decompress after school, and homework might be completed after dinner or right before dinner.

Parents might schedule reading time, too. This can ensure parents have a block of time set aside to read to kids or read with them.

To help children be successful in the classroom and hit benchmark standards, parental involvement at school and at home might be crucial. There are many ways to be involved at a child’s school. Even attending parent-teacher conferences shows that a parent is vested in their child’s success. In addition, parents also need to stay involved at home; make sure homework is completed and schedule regular reading time, too.