From EVICS Executive Director, Nancy Almond:
From birth, children imitate their parents. Parents are the most significant people in a child’s life, and their first and very best teachers! As a new parent, you put a lot of time and energy into your baby’s care and nurture. As children mature we begin to look to outside sources, such as schools, churches and clubs, to expand our child’s learning and experience. However, as children grow, parents influence and involvement becomes even more critical than ever! As we approach Fall and making the transition back to school, consider how you can participate in your child’s education, both in and out of the classroom. Whether your child attends preschool, childcare, or elementary school, they are ALL learning environments. Research shows that when parents are involved and engaged in their child’s growth, development and education, children have greater self-esteem and learning success.
Parents can participate by encouraging and supporting your child’s learning, and being actively involved with activities and environments. As a busy parent, it can feel challenging to find time to participate in your child’s learning and this can be frustrating. However, there are many ways to demonstrate support and encouragement even when you don’t have time to actively volunteer. Communicating with the child’s teacher, creating a learning environment at home, attending school events and meetings, and contributing treats and household craft items, are all helpful ways to be involved. Parents’ involvement sends a strong message to children that school is important and that home and school are connected.
Don’t wait until Kindergarten to “get involved” in your child’s education! Children are born learning and parent involvement is crucial from the very beginning. You can foster your child’s early learning experiences by taking time to talk with your childcare provider or teacher each day. Ask how you can best support and extend your child’s learning and experience. Ask for one-on-one talk time when needed, and never underestimate how important and powerful your sincere “thank you” can be! Happy Back-to-School to all!