Your parent-teacher group offers more than an opportunity to improve your child’s education by purchasing new playground equipment or making sure your teams and clubs can pay for transportation to their competition. Your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club provides you with the ability to be more involved with your student’s school experience and improve it.
Studies show students with involved parents have better attendance, complete more homework, and have higher enrollment in post-high-school education. Plus, children whose parents are involved in these groups showcase improved math and reading skills, heightened social skills, and reduced behavioral issues.
Direct involvement from your parent-teacher group can holistically enhance child learning and development. AIM has assembled some tips and advice to guide you towards supporting student mental, social, and emotional well-being.
Improved Well-Being Starts at Home
Above all else, parents set the tone for their children by what they do at home. By demonstrating a positive attitude towards the value of education, your child can see the opportunity school provides reflected in what you say and do.
Active learning should be a part of your family’s daily life. You can start by asking your child questions and helping them find the answers to their questions rather than just telling them the answer. You can encourage your child to become a lifelong learner by giving them problems to solve with and without your assistance, as well as encouraging and supporting the exploration of subjects they find interesting. Thus, creating a positive connection between learning and fun that boosts their well-being.
For example, if your child is interested in baseball, you can use that interest to invest them in their classes. Help them explore how math is an essential part of the game, like how it creates the statistics on the back of their baseball cards. For older children, the motion of a hit ball is a perfect example of physics in action. You can also expand the topic to other subjects by reading and interpreting the baseball rulebook for English comprehension and how baseball has impacted American history from immigration to the American Civil War and its role in the Civil Rights movement.
Baseball is just one example. With a little intention, you can use nearly anything that captures your child’s interest can be used as a way to build their knowledge and understanding of many different school subjects.
Learn Your Student’s Learning Style to Improve Their Well-Being
Translating learning to the style your child best understands is incredibly important for their relationship with education and personal well-being. Some people learn in an auditory manner or primarily by listening. Others need visual cues and think in terms of images. Your child may learn even better by introducing them to a kinesthetic-tactile learning style. By moving or touching objects in combination with traditional audio and visual learning, your young student will benefit from multi-sensory learning. Remember – we all learn at our own pace and in our style. Understanding and developing a student’s learning style so they can use it at school will help improve their academic performance.
Learn more about the different learning styles and how to help your child succeed with this resource from The Center for Parenting Education.
Boost Well-Being Through Life Skills
Another way to support a well-rounded education is to consider the lessons you weren’t taught in school. If you could send a message back to yourself at your student’s age, what skills would you tell them to focus on developing? What critical skills are fundamental to your well-being as an adult? Once you’ve decided what skills you wish you had learned, you’ll know what you should share with your child.
Many of these life skills aren’t taught in school; skills like basic money management, how to change a flat tire, prepare for a natural disaster, time management, and even how to study better. These fundamental life skills can help young students gain valuable abilities they can draw on throughout their life and boost their well-being.
Think of the ways your parent-teacher group can come together to provide these learning opportunities for your children.
Support Your School
You’re already showing your support by being involved with your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club, but how can you and your child better enjoy the benefits of parent involvement in school? The first suggestion is straightforward yet fundamental: take advantage of opportunities for parent-teacher meetings. From open houses to one-on-one meetings, these routine opportunities allow you to take a more active role in improving the school experience for your student and their well-being at school.
Another way you can increase your involvement is to work with the school administration to create a bank of volunteer activities that will help you – and other like-minded parents – support the school. Below are some examples.
Be a Chaperone
From field trips and school dances to band, choir, and athletic travel, so many groups in your child’s school are looking for invested parents to act as a chaperone. These chaperoning activities also give you the chance to better communicate with students, become a part of exciting moments in their lives, and help teach some valuable lessons. Each can help improve their well-being and you may even learn something new yourself.
Improve Student Well-Being by Serving as Class Aide, Tutor, or Mentor
Teachers often find themselves with large classes, which doesn’t allow teaching their students one-on-one. However, many schools allow parents to volunteer their services to help teachers in the classroom or offer their abilities to help children improve their skills. If you have a specific set of skills that could aid students or if you feel you could provide mentorship to students in need of inspiration, contact your school.
Translate School Communications
Are you multi-lingual? Your abilities could help your child’s school to reach families where communication is stopped by a language barrier. By offering to translate – or even explain – school communication to parents who aren’t native English speakers, you’re doing more than just providing a valuable service to your school. You’re making someone feel more welcome in your community, increase their sense of well-being, and even increasing their child’s ability to succeed.
Assist School Communications
Schools have a limited budget of time, energy, and people when it comes to reaching out to parents. By volunteering to send out emails, call parents, and even make copies, you can free up the administration’s time to concentrate on teaching students and improving the school.
Participate in Career Activities
Do you think your life and career experience could help inspire a young student? Being part of a career day or offering a presentation for classes could motivate students and make them more interested in learning. Think back to when you were in class. If you knew what you were studying would lead to the fulfilling life and career you have today, wouldn’t you be more excited about school? If you find that students are interested in what you do for a living, discuss it with them. Remember that you can also volunteer to be a mentor.
Provide Additional Study Aids
Beyond the books provided to students, what are some supplemental aids that would allow them to get more out of the experience? Are there additional books, videos, or online resources that would give them a more robust and exciting lesson than their current learning materials? Discuss this with the teachers and administration of your school. You may even find your work offers a valuable opportunity for field trips, job shadowing, or learning programs, taking the theoretical learning that students get in the classroom and giving them a real-life, hands-on opportunity to discover something new.
Help Submit Education Grants
Do you have a talent for paperwork? You could offer your services to your child’s school and save them valuable time while increasing their chances of gaining much-needed funding. Even if you aren’t a grant-writing expert, you can assist by gathering information about possible sources of funding, which may include government grants, money from private companies, foundations, and individuals, as well as community and nonprofit organizations.
As a parent, your involvement is critical to the success of your child. And by becoming more involved, you can also improve the education of countless other children. The investment you make today will pay off for your child for years to come.
AIM is Ready to Support Your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club
AIM Insurance provides all the insurance your parent-teacher group needs, even for off-campus activities. Annual coverage starts at just $65/year, and it takes only a few minutes to get a quote and purchase insurance for your group.