Home-to-School Connections: Resource Roundup
Getting parents engaged in their children's education can be beneficial for everyone. We've compiled some tips to help improve the connection from home to school and expand parent involvement. (Updated 4/2014)
Resources by Topic:
- Ideas for Getting Started
- Teacher-Tested Strategies and Tips
- Effective Communication Is Key
- How Parents Can Get Involved
- Additional Resources on the Web
Ideas for Getting Started
- 12 Conversation Starters on What Parents Want You (Teachers) to Know, by Joe Mazza (2013)
Principal and blogger Joe Mazza looks through the lens of his school's parents and suggests 12 conversations that all teachers should be having with their students' parents.
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Parent-Teacher Partnerships, by Amy Erin Borovoy (2013)
Strong relationships between families and teachers are critical for successful students, but where do you begin to build them? VideoAmy offers up resources and a playlist of videos about parent engagement.
- New Teacher Academy: How to Work with Parents, by Lisa Michelle Dabbs (2012)
In week four of Lisa Dabbs' New Teacher Academy series, guest blogger Shelly Sanchez Terrell talks about the benefits of working with the parents of students.
- Engaging Parents: An Elementary Teacher's Field Guide, by Gaetan Pappalardo (2011)
Third-grade teacher and blogger Gaetan Pappalardo makes the case that teachers can make a real difference by engaging with parents more deeply.
- For Kids' Sake, Let's Connect Parents and Schools, by Suzie Boss (2010)
Edutopia contributor Suzie Boss introduces the Home-to-School Connections Guide, which provides relevant and valuable tools for strengthening the bonds between schools and families.
How to Create a Program That Gets Parents Involved, by Lisa Morehouse (2009)
At this school, parents help their children get off to college regardless of their educational background.
- Parents Are a Secret Weapon Just Waiting to Be Discovered, by Roberta Furger (2006)
Scientists say parents partnering with teachers can change the future of education. Author Roberta Furger highlights some of the relevant research on parent-teacher connects.
Teacher-Tested Strategies and Tips
- 8 Tips for Reaching Out to Parents, by David Cutler (2014)
Edutopia blogger David Cutler offers eight tips for engaging with parents, from avoiding confrontation and communicating clearly, to earning their trust on back-to-school night and coaching their children's after-school activities.
- 5 Tips for Engaging Parent Volunteers in the Classroom, Karen Bantuveris (2013)
Karen Bantuveris, founder and CEO of VolunteerSpot, presents the top hurdles and success strategies for engaging parent volunteers in the classroom.
- Old School or New School, Keep Parents Involved, by Lisa Mims (2013)
Blogger and teacher Lisa Mims encourages us, whether by old school or new school strategies, to keep parents involved with their children's academic lives.
- Twenty Tips for Developing Positive Relationships with Parents, Elena Aguilar (2011)
Blogger Elena Aguilar shares 20 tips to help teachers better connect with parents.
- How to Boost Parental Involvement, Roberta Furger (2009)
Edutopia contributor Roberta Furger highlights five ways to improve communication with parents.
Effective Communication Is Key
- Bringing Parents and Guardians into Your PBL Projects, by Andrew Miller (2013)
Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller offers a few strategies for involving parents and guardians in PBL projects, whether as content experts or public audience members.
Rethinking Difficult Parents, Allen Mendler (2013)
Educational consultant and author Allen Mendler looks at the ways that difficult parents can become teachers' allies rather than their adversaries.
The Power of the Positive Phone Call Home, Elena Aguilar (2012)
Blogger Elena Aguilar proposes that teachers make positive phone calls home common practice.
- Parents and Teachers: The Possibility of a Dream Team, by Dr. Richard Curwin (2012)
Blogger Richard Curwin looks at improving the sometimes dysfunctional dynamic between teachers and parents by having them respect each other's efforts and put the student first.
What Parents Want in School Communication, Anne O'Brien (2011)
Results from a recent national survey can help schools develop better strategies for reaching out to parents.
- How YES Prep Cultivates Parent Engagement, by Edutopia Staff (2009)
Houston's YES Prep has found a variety of ways to involve parents -- from student exhibitions to family contracts and more.
How Parents Can Get Involved
- Parents: 19 Meaningful Questions You Should Ask Your Child's Teacher, by Terry Heick (2013)
Forget about all the vague, superficial information out there. Edutopia blogger Terry Heick cuts to the chase with 19 meaningful questions parents can ask their children's teachers at the beginning of the school year.
Five Resources for Parent-Teacher Conferences, by Matt Davis (2013)
A curated list of resources to improve parent-teacher conferences, including ideas for highlighting student progress as well as questions every parent should ask. Also check out this Transition Resources blog, which provides tips, tools and strategies for helping students transition between grade levels.
- Connecting School and Home: 360-Degree Communication, by Matt Levinson (2012)
School administrator and author Matt Levinson provides a startup kit for the parents of future middle school students and digital citizens.