Working Together

5 Tips for Involving Parents

Parents want what is best for their children as do we as educators. We depend on the assistance a family member can provide at home to help extend the learning from the classroom. Together, families and teachers can develop life long learners and lovers of literacy in our little ones.

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Tip #1: Open Communication
Parents, like any student, want to feel welcome in your presence. Make sure your families know their opinions are valued by always letting them know they are heard. Keeping parents in the loop through convenient means of communication is the first step to building a bond with them which is just as valuable as the ones with those in your class.

Tip #2: Educate the Adults
As Teachers, we are trained on the best practices and approaches for our children. That is rarely the case with our students' families. Invest in your families. Take the time to educate them on literacy lingo or exactly what you need them to be doing with their child at home. An informed parent is a helpful parent.


Tip #3: Provide Needed Materials

If a parent mentions they have nothing to read, let them check out some appropriate texts for their child from your class library. If their child is struggling with identifying high frequency words, then send them home with a pack of index cards to make homemade flashcards to study with. If the items are never to be heard from again, at least you went above an attempt to provide that child with assistance at home.


Tip #4: Guide them to Useful Resources

If someone is lost as to what they can do with their child at home, send the help to them. Keeping copies of a list of educational websites, for example, can be a huge help to a parent who does not know where to begin. Assuring that every household has log in information and directions to programs offered at home is also beneficial. In essence, by helping families at home, you are helping yourself as your students are getting added reading and skills building time.


Tip #5: Give Praise & Celebrate

Everyone needs affirmation. Have a parent who's doing a great job? Or one whom you really appreciate the extra time they spend on your class? Let them know. A simple thank you note can go a long way.