The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 strongly encourages parental involvement in a child’s education. Parents are a big influence in a child’s life and when schools, families and community groups work together, a child will do better in school, stay in school longer and will usually enjoy the experience more, says the U.S. Department of Education. Although most schools have their own parent involvement plan in place, you can write out a plan to be used within your own home.
Take turns going to parent teacher conferences, events, activities and special guest days if you can’t attend together. Pull out the academic calendar for the current school year, look over the school events and split the days according to availability and interest. Write these days on your household calendar and the name of who will attend each event. Use a color-coding system for this, such as a red pen for your days and blue for your partner's days.
Alternate days that you help your child with school projects and homework, dividing them by alternating days or weeks. Write these assigned days or weeks on a calendar to make it easier to remember. Again, use the color-coding system for this.
Designate who will take your child to sporting and other extracurricular events. For instance, you can drop off and pick up your child on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while your spouse is assigned Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also each take a week -- you may get the first week and third week while your spouse takes the second and fourth. One could drop off, while the other picks up. Write these on the calendar with your color-coding system.
Decide who will keep in contact with the teacher on a regular basis. This contact can be in person, by phone or email. If no big issues arise, simply check in and see if there’s anything new to address. Once every month should be sufficient unless your child needs extra support. Add that into the schedule, if needed. Write “Contact teacher” on the calendar, say every first of the month, and assign which person is responsible for this task. Communication is an important aspect of staying involved.
Contact the teacher and see what volunteering opportunities are available. Decide who can fit this into their schedule and how often. Write these dates down on the calendar.
Look over your calendar and write out all of the dates and events that you agreed upon. To make it easier to follow, separate the information by month, give it a heading and list each event in chronological order with names next to each. Use different colored text to make it easier. Save the document on your computer and print out a copy for each of you, plus a third that you can both sign and put in a safe place.
Items you will need
- Pens, various colors
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