It is important as a parent to be involved in your child’s education, starting with child care. You want to know if your child is reaching their developmental milestones as well as bench marks as they get into elementary and higher grades.
We spoke with Tracy Martin Turgeon of The Children’s Workshop for some tips on where to start and when to check in.
Beginning of the school year
- Go to open house either at the child care your child attends or the school they are going to. This is a great time to ask question and let the teacher know what you would like to see or any concerns you may have.
- The next check in should be on going throughout the next couple of months. Either by letters or regular check in’s that you and the teacher can agree upon. If your child knows you are checking in, they will be more willing to try and pay attention.
- If your child is struggling with a particular subject or milestone, be part of the solution and ask, what can I do at home? Teachers want parents input and to stay in touch.
Mid- year check in
- This is the half way point. Remember, teachers need to put final grades in their books in May. Also there are holidays, winter and spring breaks, half days, and don’t forget sick days. Add all that up, and you probably only have roughly about 4 months until summer break. If your child is not getting the help he/she needs, now is the time to put pressure on. Most schools have budgets and only so many children they can service at a time. However, if your child is just a little bit behind and is struggling it is only going to get harder. You are your child’s advocate.
Some things to consider
- Early childhood milestones. There are many from birth to age 5, you can look up on line under ECE milestones and this will give you all age groups. Every child develops at their own rate and time, so don’t fixate on each milestone. If your child is not walking or crawling by age 1-2, walking alone, running, or sitting by themselves, you can look into early intervention or your pediatrician.
- By age 18 months your child should have a vocabulary of 5-20 words. If not talking yet or uttering very few words, you may want to consult a speech pathologist, early intervention and or your pediatrician.
- When your child reaches kindergarten, first, and second grade, what reading level are they on?
- What reading level are they supposed to be on? The same with math and so on.
By asking these questions you are giving your child the support they need, and then the resources to get them what they need.
Statics say, that if a child cannot read at bench mark or above by 3rd grade they are 4 times most likely to not graduate by age 19 or continue to go onto college.
As parents we need to be involved in our child’s education so they can succeed and continue as successful adults.
On a final note
- Ask what tools you can use at home?
- What programs are they using to test or work on? Can you have access?
- Are they on bench mark? What is holding them back?
- Try word sites to help your child at home.
The key is to get involved, stay involved, for just minutes a week. If you don’t know where or how to start, look on line, if your child needs an IEP there are special advocates to help you. Just reach out and ask for help.
Resources: Education weekly, Parents, responsibility.org