There are proven benefits to being engaged with your child’s school. It’s a great way to boost children’s behaviour and self esteem, and to develop friendships with other parents. Research has even shown a connection between increased parental involvement at school and literacy and numeracy outcomes, attendance and school completion rates.
Education Officer: Attendance Elizabeth Burke said this occurs in part because being involved in school activities highlights for parents what their child is learning and how they should be behaving.
“Family engagement and participation helps families to identify learning opportunities with their children,” said Ms Burke.
“It supports communication with the school and demonstrates that school is valued by the family and community.”
Family engagement and participation identifies learning opportunities for families
Despite these benefits, it can be difficult for busy parents to find time to commit to regular activities with their child’s class or to serve on the P&C. Schools really value parents who are involved in traditional learning activities in the classroom, but if your schedule doesn’t allow you time every week to assist with reading groups or in the computer lab there are lots of other ways for your family to engage with your child’s school.
Being a bigger part of your child’s school life
Elizabeth’s ideas on how to be more present:
- Participate in school open days, parent groups and parent-teacher interviews
- Be involved with any parent classes the school runs
- Be present at in-school events such as dances or graduations
- Make an effort to meet new parents
- Ask if you can volunteer for just one month or week if your schedule changes
- Assist with setting up and crowd control at larger events
- Spend some time with a specific club or interest group
- Volunteer to speak or provide resources for a multicultural event or career day
- Supervise or assist at excursions and sports carnivals
- Know what is happening and when
- Reach out if you need home learning help