In order for children to have every possible advantage during the upcoming school year, parental involvement must begin even before classes do. The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement released a study which indicates that within the United States approximately 64% of all differences in academic achievement between schools were directly attributed to variables in home and family support of academic achievement (www.esc16.net/users/0020/docs/NineTruths.pdf). This verifies what has long been known and what has been proven in study after study: kids whose parents take an interest and become actively involved in their child’s academics are more successful in school.
It is an important first step every year to visit your child’s school together as a family so that everyone can become more familiar and comfortable. Many parents do this only when a child will be attending a new school or different school building within the same district, but ideally this should be done before the beginning of every school year or during the first couple weeks of the new school year, regardless. Schools generally hold an Open House-type event for this purpose at the start of the school year. Parents should attend this event with their child for a number of reasons.
Even if your child will be attending the same school building he or she has attended in previous grades, the classroom(s) and teacher(s) will be new, as well as the classroom setting. Both you and your child can familiarize yourselves with this new environment, meet the teacher(s), and they can meet you and become acquainted. It will help your child to know where their classroom is located on the first day of school, avoiding unnecessary confusion on an already hectic day.
It is important to visit your child’s school at the start of every year
1) It gives you, the parent, a chance to see first-hand how your child interacts with teachers and other students and how comfortable he is within the school setting as well as meeting teachers and others who will be a part of your child’s daily life for the next several months.
2) Most importantly, it shows your child that you are taking an interest in him and his academic experience. This will help build his confidence and self-esteem.
3) A child’s confidence soars when they are shown rather than repeatedly told that his parents care about his school performance and experience. As a parent, visiting the school with your child prior to the beginning of the school year puts you in direct contact with his surroundings and the people who will be involved. It is an easy way to boost your child’s learning experience as well as giving you helpful insight into his school “world”.