Okay, parents, the 2008-09 school year starts Thursday. You’ve heard a lot about test scores, AYP and the No Child Left Behind Act. You’ve wondered if the schools are good enough for your child.
Here’s the scoop: the single factor that will most influence your child’s success is you. Not the schools, not the curriculum, but your attentive involvement in your child’s mental and physical health as he or she heads to school.
If you want your child to have a successful school year, be a successful parent. Expect your child to succeed, pay attention to how and what he or she is doing in school, make sure he or she completes assignments, send the child to school adequately nourished and clothed and well rested and let it be known your child or children are loved and valued. Produce for your child a stable home free from domestic disputes, substance abuse and physical violence. Teach your children to be disciplined and to show respect for their parents, their classmates and teachers. Provide them with reading materials, take them to the library, talk to them.
Today’s schools face myriad problems, but the greatest challenge is to educate children burdened with dysfunctional or semi-functional parents and homes. A hungry child is not ready to learn; a child traumatized by domestic violence is ill equipped for success. Factors beyond the control of teachers and schools have more impact on a child’s chances of success than most anything likely to occur in the classroom. Teachers and schools are not infallible, but most of the problems associated with the educational systems would disappear if every parent did his or her job.
The job of educating children begins in the home. Teachers have the children seven hours a day, 180 days a year. What happens during the other 17 hours of the school days and the other 185 days a year can have a positive or negative effect on the child’s chance of success in school. Nothing will help schools succeed more than parents who provide a safe and loving environment, who take care of their kids’ physical and emotional needs.
Good teachers are important to students, but good parents are crucial. If you want your child to succeed, remember that educational success starts in the home.
No disrespect to the author of this article, but I could have written this myself! Congratulations, because a lot of parents don't do what you suggest. It's so easy to just "dump" the kids off at government schools and trust that they will learn something. Then they are surprised when the kids don't do well and blame the schools. Parenting is the most important job, and as parents, whether our children go to government schools, private schools or are home schooled, we have to do our jobs and be involved in our children's education.