Parent Leadership in Education: Resource Roundup
Experts agree that parent involvement in their children's education is one of the biggest predictors of student success. As a parent, where do you begin? We've compiled a list of articles, videos, and other resources to help you engage in a productive way with your kids' teachers and school.
Resources by Topic:
- Why Parent Involvement Is Essential
- Opening the Lines of Communication
- How Families Can Take Action
- Learning More about Educational Topics
- Schools with Strong Family Partnerships
- Additional Resources on the Web
Why Parent Involvement Is Essential
- 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.
- Parent Involvement in Early Literacy, by Erika Burton (2013)
Blogger Erika Burton explains how parents can create the stepping stones toward literacy for their pre-K children.
- The Importance of Community Involvement in Schools, by Anne O'Brien (2013)
In this post, blogger Anne O'Brien explains why family and community involvement in schools are essential for success.
- Bully Prevention: Why We Desperately Need to Invest in Home-School Partnerships, by Joe Mazza (2012)
Blogger Joe Mazza talks about heightened awareness and early intervention to avert the always negative and sometimes tragic consequences of bullying.
- On Developing Partnerships Between Parents and Teachers, by Elena Aguilar (2011)
Parent and teacher Elena Aguilar explains why teacher-parent relationships are critical to student success.
- Parents Are a Secret Weapon Just Waiting to Be Discovered, by Roberta Furger (2006)
In this article from the Edutopia vault, Roberta Furger explains why scientists say parents partnering with teachers can change the future of education.
Opening the Lines of Communication
- 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.
- 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, by Anne O'Brien (2011)
Results from a recent national survey can help schools develop better strategies for reaching out to parents.
- 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 Families Can Take Action
- A Guide to Hosting Your Own ParentCamp, by Joe Mazza (2013)
Dr. Joe Mazza, principal and blogger, takes unconferences and edcamps to the next logical step as he provides a detailed guide to hosting your own ParentCamp.
- 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 at the beginning of the school year.
- Summer Matters: How Parents Can Keep Their Children Learning All Summer Long, by Jennifer Peck (2013)
Jennifer Peck, Co-Chair and Executive Director of California's Summer Matters Campaign, suggests finding a balance between the right program and an education-positive attitude at home to prevent summer learning loss.
- Create a Good Environment for Studying at Home, by Art Markman (2012)
Psychology professor Art Markman explains how improving a child's home study habits now can make them better learners for life.
- Media and Digital Literacy: Resources for Parents, by Common Sense Media (2012)
Young people are immersed in technology in ways previous generations could not have even imagined. Here's a list of resources for parents seeking advice and information about how to help their children explore smart and stay safe.
- Social and Emotional Learning: Resources for Parents, by Edutopia Staff (updated 2012)
Check out this guide for parents to learn how to encourage emotionally intelligent behavior in their children.
- Project-Based Learning: Resources for Parents, by Suzie Boss (updated 2012)
A great list of ways parents can encourage and support their child -- and their child's school -- in project-based learning.
- Assessment and Testing: Resources for Parents, by Roberta Furger (updated 2012)
We've compiled a list of resources to help parents understand high-stakes testing, different forms of assessment, and school achievement data.
Learning More about Educational Topics
- Dealing with Digital Behaviors Issues: A Parent Guide, by Edward Chen (2013)
Edward Chen, Director of Technology at The Nueva School, presents a framework to help parents deal with their children's digital behavior issues.
- What Do Parents Think about Mobile Learning, by Anne O'Brien (2013)
When it comes to using mobile devices for learning, parents are key players, proposes blogger Anne O'Brien. Also check out O'Brien's blog that examines what parents think about the Common Core State Standards.
- A Parent's Guide to 21st-Century Learning, by Suzie Boss (2012)
What should collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking look like in a modern classroom? How can parents help educators accomplish their goals? Find out in this guide.
- Think Before You Click: Internet Safety Tips for Parents, by Matt Levinson (2012)
Blogger Matt Levinson guides parents through educating their children about the online world, where clicks have consequences.
- A Parent's Guide to Twitter and Education, by Joe Mazza (2012)
Principal and Parent Teacher Chat moderator Joe Mazza explains the benefits for parents and educators alike of participating on Twitter.
- Project-Based Learning: A Parent Primer, by Kathy Baron (2010)
Learn the benefits of project-based learning and how you can help make it successful at your children's school.
- A Parent Primer on Social and Emotional Learning, by Grace Rubenstein (2009)
Learn the benefits of nurturing students' social skills and how to make it happen at their school.
How Schools Can Build Strong Family Partnerships
- 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.
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Parent-Teacher Partnerships, 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.
- The Power of the Positive Phone Call Home, Elena Aguilar (2012)
Blogger Elena Aguilar proposes that teachers make positive phone calls home common practice.
- Cultivating Parent Engagement (2009)
A focus on family involvement is one reason for student success in the rigorous college-prep environment at YES Prep North Central in Houston, Texas.
- Making Connections Between Home and School: Parents Become Active Participants, by Roberta Furger (2002)
Through a home-visit program, schools in Sacramento, California realize the many benefits of parent involvement.
- Cultivating Parent Leaders: One School District's Story, by Roberta Furger (2000)
Parents step to the head of the class as advocates for their district's students in Southern California.
- Making Points for Parent Involvement: Getting Folks to Get Involved, by Edutopia Staff (1997)
Parent involvement plays a vital role in a child's ability and eagerness to learn. Here are four case studies of schools that have found creative ways to get parents engaged.