When you think of parent involvement, do you picture moms and dads volunteering in classrooms? That's one way to help - but research shows that supporting your child's education at home is even more important. Here are conversation starts that will help you stay involved.
"Let's see what you brought home."
Look at completed work to find out what your youngster is learning and how well she's doing. You could comment on her math work or social studies project, for instance. ("You know a lot about our state's history!) Also, respond to notes from her teacher, and sign her weekly folder or daily planner if required.
"Show me what you have for homework."
It's your child's job to do her homework, but you play a role, too. Make sure she knows what she's supposed to do by having her explain the assignments to you. After she finishes her homework, glance over the work to see that it's complete.
"Describe a book you enjoyed a today."
This gives you an idea of what your youngster prefers to read. Then, build a daily reading habit by asking what she'd like to read tonight. Encourage her reading and listening skills by reading aloud to her and letting her read to you.
"Tell me what you learned that you'd like to know more about."
Use her interests as jumping-off points for activities to share. If she likes geometry, you might hunt for shapes together. If she's fascinated by how animals adapt to winter, take her to the library to resarch the subject or to the zoo to see live animals.
Asking "How was school today?" might not get you far. Instead, ask questions like these for a better picture of your youngster's day:
- "What's the coolest thing that happened? What wasn't so cool?"
- "Pretend you're the teacher. How would you describe the day?"
- "What made you laugh?"
- "What was the most creative thing you did?"
- "How were you kind or helpful today? Was anyone kind or helpful to you?"