HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
August 28, 2006, Herald Journal

ABCs for your child’s education


Study after study, research has shown, and continues to show, how important it is for parents to be actively involved in their child’s education.

In fact, during the course of a calendar year, only 14 percent of a student’s time is spent in school, and the National Education Association’s website noted that efforts to improve student learning and performance must recognize the importance of a student’s life outside of school, and the need for that life to be healthy and supportive.

The website www.nea.org/parents states that a home environment is more important to student achievement than income, education level, or cultural background.

When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved, children go farther in school – and the schools they go to are better.

Here are some ABCs of education for parents and caregivers that I found a couple years back, and are still very appropriate. I am unsure of the author, but there are also different versions of this ABC list for parents, as well.

• Attend all school functions.

• Be aware of the damage you will cause by telling your child that he or she is stupid. The child may believe you.

• Communicate the importance of education to your child.

• Don’t criticize a teacher, textbook, or school in front of your child, as the child will adopt your attitude.

• Encourage your child to talk about what happened at school each day.

• Fix your child a good breakfast every day.

• Good readers are made, not born. Read to or with your child every day.

• Help your child get organized for school the night before.

• Impress upon your child the importance of a good attendance record.

• Join the parent-teacher organization at your school or be involved in some way.

• Keep up with what is happening at your child’s school.

• Lying for your child is not acceptable. You should not write fake excuses for a child who doesn’t do homework or misses a day of school.

• Monitor the amount of television and the type of programs your child watches.

• Never do homework or projects for your child. Help, instead.

• Observe the work your child brings home from school each day.

• Praise something in every bit of work your child brings home, even if you can only say how neatly his or her name is written.

• Quiet corners in your home encourage study. With your child’s help, set up a special study area for him or her.

• Request conferences with teachers or counselors when trouble begins to appear. Don’t wait until a full-blown problem develops.

• Send a happy, well-rested, well-organized, and appropriately dressed child off to school each day.

• Take your child to the library on a regular basis.

• Understand that learning is not always easy and that your child may need help at times.

• Value your child as an individual. Never compare a child with a brother, sister, or another child.

• Work with your child’s teachers at school. Consider yourself a partner of your child’s teacher, rather than an adversary.

• “X” is often an unknown ingredient. It’s the extra special things that you will do to help your child succeed in school.

• You are your child’s most important teacher.

• Zip it up with love. Love gives zest to life.

Have fun with the “alphabet!”