You can support your child’s learning at home, at school — even on the go! Here are 100 easy ways to make a difference.
Download these handy tips in flier format.
2. Approach interactions with a positive attitude and an open mind.
3. Listen to others’ viewpoints.
4. Share your child’s strengths, talents, and interests with your child’s teachers.
5. Share expectations and set goals together for your child.
6. Make appointments as needed to discuss your child’s progress or concerns.
7. Attend parent-teacher conferences with specific questions you want to ask.
8. Indicate the best way to give you information (phone, e-mail, notes, etc.).
9. Understand and reinforce school rules and expectations at home.
10. Participate in informal opportunities to talk with & get to know school staff & educators.
11. Address concerns or questions honestly, openly, and early on.
12. Attend PTA or parent meetings regularly.
13. Read classroom and/or school newsletters.
14. Visit your school’s web page.
15. Know school staff’s extensions and office hours.
16. Read and know your school’s handbook.
17. Request that information be available in all relevant languages.
18. Share your family’s culture, values, and parenting practices with your child’s school.
19. Share your perceptions with educators and school staff of how parents are treated.
20. Work with school staff and educators to revise and improve perceptions and school climate.
21. Meet your child’s friends and get to know their parents.
22. Contact your school for information on family programs and resources.
23. Help establish a parent center at school and use its resources.
24. Help create a toy/book lending library and visit it regularly.
25. Assist in developing parent support programs/groups and attend them.
26. Attend workshops or seminars on various parenting topics.
27. Participate in parenting classes on child development, expectations, discipline, etc.
28. Attend parent fairs and other events especially for parents and families.
29. Start a parent book club to discuss current publications.
30. Help create and/or contribute to a school newsletter on parenting.
31. Assist in creating and/or offer your services to before- and after-school programs.
32. Build a child file with medical records, pictures, fingerprints, etc.
33. Make donations and/or offer to work at clothing drives or swaps, food co-ops, etc.
34. Talk with your child’s teacher for ideas on parent/child games and activities.
35. Discuss your child’s school day and homework daily.
36. Learn your child’s strengths and weaknesses in different areas of school.
37. Provide a quiet, well-lit place with basic school supplies for studying/homework.
38. Help your children break down projects into smaller, more manageable steps.
39. Develop a consistent daily routine and time for studying and homework.
40. Provide encouragement and approval for effort and schoolwork.
41. Share your interests, hobbies, and talents with your children.
42. Provide children with books, magazines, and so forth, and develop a nighttime reading routine.
43. View selected TV programs together, then review, and discuss them.
44. Make family trips to the library, zoo, museum, or park a fun learning experience.
45. Talk with your child’s teacher on creating home learning games and activities.
46. Complete interactive homework assignments with your child.
47. Attend meetings on learning expectations, assessment and grading procedures.
48. Help set goals and develop a personalized education plan for your child.
49. Participate in activities that help you understand school technology.
50. Help plan and attend family nights on improving study habits, doing homework, etc.
51. Help develop, visit, or offer services to your school’s study/tutor center.
52. Participate in fairs and tests for math, science, history, and so forth.
53. Respond to school surveys on your interests, talents, and skills.
54. Let school staff know your availability to volunteer (days, times, and how often).
55. Supervise and coordinate evening and weekend volunteer activities at school.
56. Assist your child’s teacher in the classroom or on field trips when you are able.
57. Work with school staff and teachers to develop volunteer activities you can do from home.
58. Assist school staff and educators in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for parents.
59. Help provide childcare and/or transportation for volunteering parents.
60. Help develop creative ways to use volunteers at school.
61. Actively help school staff recruit parents and community members as volunteers.
62. Attend training and orientation on how to be an effective volunteer.
63. Learn and uphold school discipline, confidentiality, and other policies as a volunteer.
64. Plan a regular time each week to talk with school staff and educators with whom you are working.
65. Help develop volunteer job descriptions and evaluations.
66. Participate in organizing and planning ways to recognize and appreciate volunteers.
67. Respond to school surveys/questionnaires on how effective volunteer programs are.
68. Help develop and distribute a volunteer directory to parents, school staff, and teachers.
69. Provide volunteer consulting services to school staff or educators on your areas of expertise.
SCHOOL DECISION-MAKING AND ADVOCACY
70. Learn of school and district policies and practices that affect children.
71. Voice your support or concerns on any issue that will affect your family.
72. Be involved in decisions on student placement and course and textbook selections.
73. Participate in meetings to determine special educational needs and services.
74. Attend workshops on problem solving, conflict resolution, public speaking, and so forth.
75. Serve on school advisory councils or committees on curriculum, discipline, and so forth.
76. Serve on a site-based school management team with teachers and the principal.
77. Encourage and support older children in serving in student leadership positions.
78. Help your school create a student’s rights and responsibilities guide for families.
79. Attend PTA, school board, and/or town meetings and speak to issues of concern.
80. Learn representative’s backgrounds and participate in school board elections.
81. Work with teachers and school administrators to develop a parent involvement policy.
82. Write, call, or travel to state capitals to support or oppose proposed legislation.
83. Participate in petition drives or letter-writing campaigns to Congress on legislation.
84. Give testimony at public hearings in support of or opposition to education legislation.
85. Vote in local, state, and federal elections for public officials who support education.
COLLABORATING WITH COMMUNITY
86. Help your school develop a directory of social and community services.
87. Find out information on community resources and organizations and use them.
88. Help develop and/or distribute a community newsletter to local agencies and businesses.
89. Help coordinate and participate in an event to raise money for a local charity.
90. Talk with employers about holding parent meetings or parenting workshops on-site.
91. Advocate for flexible work schedules and leave time to attend school functions.
92. Encourage employers and local businesses to make donations and support school programs.
93. Help organize and/or participate in community health fairs.
94. Help recruit community members (seniors, business people) to volunteer at school.
95. Become active in community groups such as YMCA and Boy and Girl Scouts.
96. Serve on local community advisory councils and committees.
97. Work with local authorities and public officials to sponsor community events.
98. Help organize and/or participate in a community “clean up” or “beautification” project.
99. Encourage and help facilitate your child’s participation in community service.
100. Be a role model, be active in community service yourself or together with your child.
Working together, parents and teachers give kids their best chance to learn. The California Teachers Association and the California State PTA have joined forces to offer some tips for you that will give your children the best opportunity to succeed in school. Download the information – available in multiple languages.
HOW TO SUPPORT LEARNING AT HOME
- Just Ask. Ask your children what they studied in class today — what they liked and what they learned. Asking questions shows that school is important.
- Quiet Study. Choose a place for home study and make sure the room is quiet during that time. Creating a quiet place goes a long way toward helping your children learn.
- Regular Schedule. Set up a certain time of day that is dedicated to homework. Follow up with your children to be sure their homework is complete and turned in on time.
- Learn Together. If you want your children to read their assignments, give yourself an assignment, too. When it’s time for them to do homework, take a break and spend a few minutes reading a book, magazine or newspaper.
- Learn Everywhere. Increase your children’s interest in homework by connecting school to everyday life. For instance, your children can learn fractions and measurements while you prepare favorite foods together.
- Meet Their Teachers. Meet with your children’s teachers to find out what they are learning and discuss their progress in school.
- Praise Helps. Praise your children for successfully completing homework. Nothing encourages children more than praise from their parents.
Each issue of the PTA in California newsletter brings a wealth of news and information to PTA leaders and members. The new 2016 “Education Edition” gives you the tools you need to help your child succeed throughout the school year:
- Information on student assessments and scores
- Ways to get engaged in your school community
- The latest on science and arts education
- Tips for parents of students with special needs
- Homework help
- And much more!
Spread the Word
Download and share this free resource with families in your school community.