Beyond the Month: Family Engagement in Education
Engaging Families at Home and in the Community
- Through school-community partnerships, connect with community-based programs/resources (e.g., health care and human services) that strengthen and support students’ learning and promote well-being.
- Encourage parents to have family meals together regularly. Research suggests that students who have regular family dinnertime experience increased academic performance.
- Ask parents to help produce newsletters and other community outreach materials that can be worked on at home and may be perfect for parents who are not available during school hours to contribute.
- Make regular homework assignments that require students to discuss with their families what they are learning in class.
- Create a Parent Resource Center (online or on campus) and invite parents to explore the resources available to them. Include content on parenting, social, community and academic topics.
- Offer an online parent portal so families can stay connected and updated on their child’s progress in school including grades, attendance, test scores and schedule.
- Launch a community-mentoring program for families which fosters positive relationships, social support and opportunities to develop new skills.
Engaging Families at School
- Create a welcoming school climate.
- Make positive parent phone calls throughout the year.
- Connect with parents/families in-person at the beginning of the year and stay in contact as much as possible. Use emails, texts, or apps to keep them up-to-date on upcoming class events and student achievements.
- Conduct a survey to obtain input from parents and students on current and potential school workshop topics in order to identify ways to provide support for social and emotional learning. Host family engagement nights for families and students presenting on topics identified.
- Find out about parents’ talents and skills and then invite them to lead after-school activities such as school exercise programs e.g., cheerleading, karate, aerobics and other activities that show their skills and talents.
- Share classroom expectations and student learning goals openly with parents, and ask them to do the same.
- Plan theme nights which offer cross-curricular subjects in all grade levels. Create workstations that families and students can do together.
- Identify and address common challenges that inhibit parent/family engagement such as scheduling conflicts, language barriers, etc.
- National Family Literacy Day: As a family, read a book together.
- Review with and talk to your child about daily homework.
- Ask your child’s teacher(s) how you can best support his or her learning at home.
- Plan a day with no electronics. Consider Books, board games or puzzles.
- Praise your child for their efforts rather than their abilities
- Join the PTA, PTO, or a parent/family engagement committee.
- Talk with your employer about flex time so that you can participate in school activities
- National Parents and Teachers Day - Parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers.
- Listen to and discuss different types of music.
- Visit a local park or other attraction and talk about what you see.
- Veterans Day - Talk to your child about why we honer those who courageously serve our country.
- As a family, learn more about the importance of recycling and pledge to reduce, reuse and recycle.
- American Education Week - Connect with your child’s school about celebration plans.
- As a family, learn and discuss the importance of education.
- National Career Development Day - Explore and talk about career interests and possibilities with your child.
- National Parent Involvement Day - Take the Pledge and let your child know you’re committed to their success.
- Sneak a fun note into your child’s backpack or lunch box as a token of encouragement and support.
- Talk with your family about community service and why it is important.
- Browse the news and talk about current events.
- Invite your child to help you write the grocery list, shop and plan meals. Recipies
- Use “downtime” in the car or on a walk to quiz your child on something they are learning in school.
- Flip through old family photo albums. Tell stories about your family’s history and answer your child’s questions.
- Thanksgiving Day - Talk about things for which your family is grateful.
- Pretend you have a TV or radio talk show. Take turns “interviewing” each other.
- Encourage conversation among family members at the dinner table.
- Pick a project in or around your home-fixing, improving, or beautifying. Involve your child in all phases of the project.
- Talk with your child’s teachers about their progress in school.
- Create a written or oral story with your child about the day. Include real and extravagant details to make it fun!
- Talk to your child about his/her favorite subject in school.
- Listen! It’s the #1 thing a parent can do to support their child
As a parent, your time is the most thoughtful gift of all.
Family Engagement Month 2023 Documents
The files below are stored on Google Drive and Box. If you encounter a problem opening one of the links, try one of the alternate links.