With School Three Weeks Away, Parents Must Get Involved

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Education begins at home, Victorious Hall says.

The new school year is rapidly approaching and pretty soon, families will flood local department stores to buy the supplies their children need for class. However, I find many parents are unaware of the tools they need to help their children succeed. While it’s important to give material possessions to start the year, following a few steps will ensure your child’s academic success. I have developed what I call the “G.E.T. Involved” strategy to assist parents and students in school.

Get to know the teachers

Students who do the best in school have very involved parents. It is important for parents to know as much as possible about the teachers who will guide their children through the academic year. Parents should investigate without being bothersome, studying the teacher’s educational background, academic philosophy, approach to discipline and instructional approach.

Outside the classroom, parents wouldn’t leave their children with complete strangers. But when it comes to education, that’s become commonplace. In the Internet age, parents have many ways to get in contact with us, including email, social media and instant messages. Building a powerful relationship with your child’s educator will ensure a robust experience.

Engage your child

Education is a 24/7 cycle that must continue outside of school. Your home should be a haven for education. In his book Raising Black Boys, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu says that children’s rooms should be decorated with college posters and exceptional student work. The home should celebrate a culture of educational excellence. Therefore, school should be an extension of the education that occurs at home.  Parents and families are the first teachers. They must understand that. Engaging your child will foster a deeper love for education.

Turn off distractions

During college interviews, recruiters won’t ask your children about their favorite video games and TV shows. It is important that you eliminate distractions. This means limiting time on the computer to academic-related matters, turning off the television and implementing family reading time. Your child doesn’t need regular entertainment from video games. Instead, video games can be a reward for great educational work. Substitute the new time for community engagement opportunities.

For these strategies to be effective, it will take sacrifice and discipline from parents. If your children aren’t allowed to watch television, it’s a good idea for parents to cut back as well. If you want your child to invest more energy into education, you must commit that same energy. It is difficult for students to grow without thoughtful, reflective and committed parents. Everyone must “G.E.T. Involved.”