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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Parent Partnership in Education: Resource Roundup

Experts agree that parent involvement in education is one of the biggest predictors of student success. So where can parents begin? We've compiled a list of articles, videos, and other resources to help you engage productively with your kids' teachers and school.
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Why Parent Involvement Is Essential

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Opening the Lines of Communication

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How Families Can Take Action

  • Blended Learning in the Mix: The Informed Parent by Megan Kinsey and Jeremy Shorr (2014)

    Parents of students in blended learning programs should understand the changing roles of technology and teachers, and make an effort to stay informed about edtech.

  • Back-to-School Resources for Parents by Edutopia Staff (2014)

    Find resources to help children begin school with a positive mindset, support their transition into a new school year, and prepare them for fall learning.

  • A Parent's Resource Guide to Social and Emotional Learning by Ashley Cronin, Edutopia Staff (2014)

    In this curated list, find blogs, articles, and videos for parents about fostering kindness, empathy, resilience, perseverance, and focus in children. Another great Edutopia resource guide for parents, created in collaboration with Common Sense Media, Media and Digital Literacy: Resources for Parents provides insightful tips for how parents can help their children explore and stay safe online.

  • A Guide to Hosting Your Own ParentCamp by Joe Mazza (2013)

    Dr. Mazza, principal and blogger, takes unconferences and edcamps to the next logical step as he provides a detailed guide to hosting your own ParentCamp.

  • Create a Good Environment for Studying at Home by Art Markman (2012)

    Psychology professor Markman explains how improving a child's home study habits now can make them better learners for life.

  • Creating a Strong Parent Community by Marisa Kaplan (2011)

    How can parents get involved? In this blog post, Kaplan offers ideas for educators and families for helping out at school.

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Learning More About Educational Topics

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Ideas for Preventing Summer Slide

  • Summer Fun with the Brain in Mind by Lori Desautels (2014)

    Whether storytelling, dressing backwards, or celebrating a different family member each day, summer games activate the joy of learning, decision making, questioning, and playing with ideas. In addition, the Web is another great resource. To find ideas for letting kids explore topics on their own, check out Preventing Summer Slide: Why Not Try Internet Research? which features interesting research projects.

  • Parents: Inspiring Readers Through the Summer Slump by Judy Willis (2014)

    Parents can engage their children with summer reading, and in this post, Willis suggests six ways including variety, no pressure, and modeling a love for reading help. Also check out Preventing Summer Slide (on a Budget) for fun, low-cost ideas to keep kids engaged in learning through the dog days of summer.

  • Encouraging Science at Home Is Easier Than You Think by Bob Pflugfelder (2014)

    Guest blogger "Science Bob" highlights how parents can encourage their children's natural curiosity through activities like dismantling old computers, touring their home's utilities, and borrowing small wildlife creatures for temporary observation.

  • Stopping the Summer Slide in English Language Arts by Terry Heick (2014)

    Edutopia blogger Heick suggests eight ways for teachers to prevent summer learning loss in the English language arts, including library dates, digital book clubs, and student blogs about topics that matter to them.

  • How Parents Can Keep Their Children Learning All Summer Long by Jennifer Peck (2013)

    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.

  • Seven Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss by Barbara Dianis (2013)

    Learning specialist Dianis offers seven suggestions for academic engagement that can help parents to prevent their children's summer learning loss.

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How Schools Can Build Strong Family Partnerships

  • Home-to-School Connections: Resource Roundup by Shira Loewenstein (2015)

    For effective school-home partnerships, get to know the parents early in the year, get to know the values of each family, and remain consistent and fair.

  • Sharing Data to Create Stronger Parent Partnerships by Edutopia Staff (2015)

    By sending home detailed data reports that focus on a specific skill, one elementary achool opens a two-way line of communication with parents about their children's learning.

  • The Beginners' Guide to Connecting Home and School by Tabitha Dell'Angelo and Joanna Maulbeck (2014)

    Here are five steps to engage parents in their children's education, whether through at-home activities or in-class participation, to help foster academic success. Also, be sure to check out Home-to-School Connections: Resource Roundup, an Edutopia collection featuring tips for educators to help improve the connection from home to school and expand parent involvement.

  • 8 Tips for Reaching Out to Parents by David Cutler (2014)

    Edutopia blogger Cutler offers eight tips for engaging with parents, including avoiding confrontation, communicating clearly, earning their trust on Back-to-School Night, and coaching their children's after-school activities.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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Engaging Parents
Back to School: Build parent partnerships to support student learning.

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