How important is it for you to be involved in your child’s early childhood education?
Research shows there are benefits to the parent and child when parents are involved in their child’s early childhood education.
Being a parent is a full time job. It can be hard to balance everything and sometimes that means making tough choices between being involved with your child’s activities and other things that require your attention. So how important is it to be involved in your child’s early childhood education?
Research shows there are benefits to the parent and child when parents are involved. Children whose parents are involved in their early childhood education benefit by:
- Enhancing their self-esteem.
- Improving their attitude about school.
- Increasing consistent attendance at school.
- Creating a school to home connection.
The benefits to parents include:
- Understanding your child’s development more intimately.
- Knowing what your child is learning daily.
- Developing social networks with other parents of children the same age.
While it’s not possible to be involved in everything all the time, there are things you can do as a parent to make sure you and your child are getting the benefits of involvement. Michigan State University Extension recommends the following.
- Talk to their teacher about your family. Teachers want to know more about your child but may be afraid to ask, so schedule some time to talk with them about your child. Think about sharing things like your child’s interests, strengths, skills they could work on and anything else important to your family.
- Share your talents with the classroom. Do you like to garden? Can you play an instrument? Are you handy with building things? Share these talents with the teacher and your child’s classroom. Starting a garden in the classroom opens up a lot of possibilities for learning. Maybe there’s an opportunity to build something the classroom needs or you might be able to help with a school play or musical. There are a lot of ways for parents to get involved in ways you might not traditionally think of.
- Keep informed. It can be hard to attend everything that’s offered, however, keeping informed even when you can’t be there will help you know what is going on at the school. Use what the school provides like newsletters, Facebook pages or parent groups to keep up on what’s happening.
- Talk with your child daily. Ask your child about their day. Don’t forget to ask about things like recess and lunch time. Not everything happens when the teacher is around, so it’s important to talk with your child about those times they are not directly participating in learning activities.
- Talk with other parents. Many schools have parent groups you can connect with to get to know more about the school and help support the larger school community. Think about connecting with these groups or with other parents in your child’s class.
These are just a few ideas of how you can be involved in your child’s early childhood education. For more ideas about activities and articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.