Parental Involvement

Why Demanding Better Education is Paramount for Our Children

Young Children Ready For School

Arming a child with knowledge early in his or her life will position him or her for continued success. Not only does a great educational foundation provide the skills for a child to reach his or her greatest potential, but it also cultivates a better future society. Our children first learn the most from their parents, and they must lead by example to help the next generation. Parents know how significant their jobs are, but they can only do so much.

When deciding on a school for their children to attend, parents must devote serious attention to the quality of teachers and administrators at the institutions they consider for their children. Parents have a right to demand that schools create environments where students can thrive academically. Students will not, unfortunately, thrive academically in schools that don’t have effective teachers and administrators. Here are some phenomena to contemplate as you attempt to prepare your child for academic success.

Education in Early Life

It makes sense that investing in the education of a child builds a more prosperous and peaceful citizen. Those who have some kind of educational foundation are more likely to commit themselves to academic excellence and the notion of the life of the mind. A school system that continually challenges a student will lead him or her to see the value of lifelong learning. With a better education and more efficient ways of assessing our children’s abilities, more of them will feel valued. This will certainly lead to a more productive society. In children’s early learning, assist them in discovering their distinctive beliefs and worldviews. Early learning should be fostered by their own curiosity about the world, with lots of support, validation, and hints offered.

New Ways of Learning

As the saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the new.” We need to focus on alternative means of assessing our children’s academic growth. If you’ve ever taken a standardized test, you know how mind-numbingly painful it is to stay focused and regurgitate all the information you were forced to memorize. Students need new ways of being evaluated, such as oral exams or presentations. Modern schools are becoming better at employing new methods and strategies of imparting new material. Observe the ways in which your own child responds to different methods of learning, such as visual, auditory, and tactile learning, and identify ways you can address his or her needs inside and outside of the classroom.

Online Education

Online schools are increasingly becoming attractive options for parents for their children’s education. Not only are college classes held online, but entire K-12 schools are now online. These types of organizations are especially advantageous for those who don’t have easy access to a school, or children who want to be homeschooled without having their parents as teachers. Online learning also has the benefit of being directed by the student’s own curiosity. Some K-12 online schools offer field trips and community resources that allow for social engagement and community learning, as well as an individualized pace.

Conclusion

Ensuring the next generation is equipped with the tools essential for educational success is our responsibility. With some sweeping educational reforms, we can empower our children to evolve in a society where they are ready to ameliorate it persistently. Parents should lead the effort to advocate for the educational reforms necessary to improving American public schools dramatically.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Open Letter to All Ungrateful Parents

Black Family

Dear Ungrateful Parents:

When you have children who are going great things and you never give them any praise, you deserve to be called ungrateful parents.  You should show your children who are doing wonderful things how much you appreciate them.  You could have children who have dropped out of school, on drugs, selling drugs and/or etc. but they are not.  Don’t simply say the reason they‘re not doing unbecoming things is you reared them effectively.  While you may have done an excellent job rearing your children, this does not mean that they had to make good decisions.  They had free will to make horrible decisions and live a life that would bring you shame.

Too often children who always get into trouble receive the most attention from their parents—while the children who are doing honorable things are overlooked.  This shouldn’t be a reality in many homes.  Take time to show your children you love them and are thankful for the positive things they do.  When your children see you’re not going to give them any special recognition and attention for the noteworthy things they do, then they can turn to doing negative things as a means of getting your attention.  Children know poor behavior gains attention from their parents.  Your children want to know they have your attention.

Don’t work your children like they are your slaves.  Your children are not your slaves!  When they do things around the house to make a valuable contribution to the workload, let them know you appreciate what they do and do something special for them from time to time to prove your appreciation.

When your children bring home good or great grades, this is a big deal and you need to show them this is a big deal.  Don’t simply act like getting good or great grades is what they’re expected to do without truly rewarding them for their grades.  Classroom demands are increasing for students and their great work needs to be acknowledged and rewarded.  Everyone likes to be acknowledged and rewarded at some point.  It’s quite understandable for a child to want to receive praise and incentives for the great work they do at school and home.

Learn to listen to your children before it’s too late.  Your child can be considering suicide and you not even know because you’re too busy fussing and/or cussing at him or her about some inane matter(s).  When you talk to your children, you can learn about their problems, fears, dreams, and etc., which can help you to be better able to lead them on a path to success and aid them in proper development.

After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut that left many young children dead, this should reveal to you how important it is to treasure each moment with your children.  When your child goes to school and you’re at work, it’s not guaranteed that he or she will return.  Every opportunity you have to love on your child should be seized.

Sincerely,

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Parental Involvement is Crucial to True Education Reform

Although many parents are highly involved in their children’s education, there are many who are not. If you are not seriously involved in your children’s education, you are just as responsible as their schools for not adequately serving your children. Parents, you cannot simply depend on schools to offer your children a comprehensive education. A comprehensive education encompasses children being intellectually stimulated and engaged in their studies when they are at home. If you are a parent who lacks the education to help your children with their homework, the least you can do is make sure they are doing their home and have frequent discussions with them about what they are studying and any problems they are having in school. By doing this, you will be able to see what your children’s teachers see as things you could be doing at home, based on your abilities, to aid them in improving their academic achievement. If you are not able to meet with your children’s teachers in person, arrange to speak with them on the phone, even if it’s just for a brief period of time. If you have access to a computer, then you could communicate with their teachers via email.

Instead of buying your children all of these toys for Christmas, get them some educational material and software that can improve their academic deficiencies. You have to find creative ways to be involved in your children’s education. Being actively involved in your children’s education helps them to recognize that their education should be a top priority because you take their education so seriously. When you are not actively involved in your children’s education, think about what intentional and unintentional values you are communicating to them.

Learning should not end when students leave school. You should work to create an environment in your home that is well-suited for learning to take place. Be sure that your children organize their rooms well so that their rooms become spaces where order and discipline are encouraged and expected. Valuing order and discipline has important transferability in their academic studies.

When your children are not doing well in school, you need to encourage them to do better. Don’t allow them to give up on their academic studies because they are having difficulties with certain subjects. If you don’t know how to do anything else, you can motivate them to keep trying. Let them know that you just want them to give their best efforts in school.

While I was in the K-12 educational pipeline, I had the great fortune to have parents who were tremendously involved and supportive of me achieving at the highest levels academically, athletically, and socially. Even though I did not need any assistance with my homework from them, they would always ask me probing queries about my school work and homework, which communicated to me that I could never stop striving to become a better and better student.

If you are a parent who has the time and ability to help another parent’s child to succeed, then I would encourage you to reach out to that parent and child. Parents, don’t simply blame schools, administrators, and/or teachers for your children’s educational outcomes. Become an active participant in the type of education your children receive.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Do Something Special for Your Children Today

I was just inspired to say that I think it would be really nice for you to do something special for your children today. It does not have to be something major—just do something special for them today. Our children are our greatest assets and we need to honor them as much as possible. If you don’t take that much time out to listen to your children, take a moment today just to talk to them to see how they are feeling, what may be worrying them, what they like most, and/or what is the greatest challenge they face. You may be surprised at what you discover.

If God has given you a child, He has given you the greatest blessing you can expect to receive. If you want your children to do better, then you are going to have to have the faith to believe that they can do better. Our children need our full support and unconditional love. Stop saying that your children are bad and just pray for them to improve. If you keep telling your children that they are bad, they will certainly become bad and never stop being bad, because you spoke this into their lives.

Don’t say that you don’t have the money to do something special for your children today. It does not take any money or much time to tell your children how much they mean to you and how much you love them. During this school year, try to become more involved in your children’s education. From my own experience, I know that having involved parents in my education made a significant difference in my educational experiences and outcomes throughout the K – higher education educational pipeline.

No matter the age of your children, they are still precious. God gave you the children in your lives to treasure, cherish, and protect, so please make sure you take care of them properly. Don’t let anyone come between you and your love for your children. Again, do something special for your children today!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison