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By Carmen McWaters

Tracking your child’s education

In a time not so long ago, parents sent their children off to school with the confidence that the school was going to do everything possible to give them the necessary foundation to be successful. Today this is not the case. You can walk into any school and see a number of parents roaming the halls and being in the classroom. Parents are starting to take control of their children’s education. Studies have shown that parents who are active within the school have children who score better, have a better attitude toward school and go on to even higher education compared to those who do not. So how is this done? Here are some helpful ways to track your child’s progress and ultimately take control of their education:

  • Be an advocate! This is one of the more important tips. Children have a voice, but it is sometimes too soft and can go without being heard. No one knows your child like you do. If you have a concern, address it.
  • Get involved! Attend school functions regularly. Try to volunteer if possible. Always make an effort to attend conferences with your child’s teacher. This will show all involved that you make your child’s education a priority.
  • Communication is paramount! Even though report cards and progressive reports are useful tools, they only come out a few times during the year. Usually, they tell you that your child is struggling after the fact. Talk with the teacher as much as possible via email, phone calls, or informal meetings in the car pick-up line. Teachers will appreciate your active role.
  • Get online! One of the most common ways to communicate with teachers is through email. School websites are also a wonderful tool. Most of them have a calendar that can help you stay up to date with any events or functions that may be taking place.
  • Talk and ask questions! Devote some time during the day to talk with your child about school. Talking about anything — assignments, lunch, or friends — is a great way to keep track. It will also help to build a good relationship with your child.
  • Be observant! Observing can show you all kinds of progressive behaviors. The child may seem more confident around their peers. They may not take as long to do homework. They may become more socially aware. You can find out a lot by just watching.
  • Be positive! Have a positive attitude toward education. Children tend to pick up cues from their parents and reflect them. Being positive can be difficult, especially, for example, when a project is due and you are just finding out the night before. Just hang in there and be positive.

This can seem like a lot. But a system will develop and the end result will be worth all the hard work and dedication. Not only will you be securing a solid foundation for your child, you will also be taking an active role in their future. This is something your child can take with them through their whole education and even into adulthood.

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