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.
Why Parent Involvement Is Essential
- Educating Parents About Education by Tom Whitby (2014)
Many parents today have an educational perspective based on 20th-century pedagogy and methodology. Teachers need to educate them about where education is now.
- Old School or New School, Keep Parents Involved by Lisa Mims (2013)
Blogger and teacher 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 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 O'Brien explains why family and community involvement in schools are essential for success.
- On Developing Partnerships Between Parents and Teachers by Elena Aguilar (2011)
Parent and teacher Aguilar explains why teacher-parent relationships are critical to student success.
- For Kids' Sake, Let's Connect Parents and Schools by Suzie Boss (2010)
Edutopia contributor Boss introduces the Home-to-School Connections Guide, which provides relevant and valuable tools for strengthening the bonds between schools and families.
Opening the Lines of Communication
- 19 Proven Tips for Getting Parents Involved at School by Edutopia and GreatSchools (2014)
With tips from parents and educators in the Edutopia and GreatSchools online communities, this guide offers 19 proven strategies for engaging parents with educators and schools, including ways to improve communication. Share your thoughts in the community discussion.
- Five Resources for Parent-Teacher Conferences by Matt Davis (Updated 2014)
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.
- 12 Conversation Starters on What Parents Want You (Teachers) to Know by Joe Mazza (2013)
Principal and blogger Mazza looks through the lens of his school's parents and suggests 12 conversations that all teachers should be having with their students' parents.
- 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 Heick cuts to the chase with 19 meaningful questions that parents can ask at the beginning of the school year.
- Connecting School and Home: 360-Degree Communication by Matt Levinson (2012)
School administrator and author 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 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.
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.
Learning More About Educational Topics
- Your Face Scares Me: Understanding the Hyperrational Adolescent Brain by Todd Finley (2014)
Edutopia blogger Finley explores the power and purpose of the teenage brain, discovering surprises such as low dopamine levels, abundance of hyperrationality, and how adults can enable teen impulse by subtly redirecting it.
- Understanding Assessment: Resources for Parents by Roberta Furger and Ashley Cronin (2014)
We've compiled a list of resources to help parents understand high-stakes testing, different forms of assessment, and school achievement data.
- What Do Parents Need to Know About the Common Core? by Anne O'Brien (2014)
Edutopia's O'Brien provides parents with a variety of resources to familiarize themselves with the Common Core.
- Dealing with Digital Behavior Issues: A Parent Guide by Edward Chen (2013)
Chen, Director of Technology at The Nueva School, presents a framework to help parents deal with their children's digital behavior issues.
- 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.
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.
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.