Challenge to Parents

If you are a parent of a school-aged child, you play an important role in your child’s education.  Nurture your child’s school success.  Your involvement is key to helping your child succeed at school.  Partner with School staff School staff depend on parents to share important information about their child, monitor homework and help student get to school on time, every day.  As a parent, you can make a big difference in your child’s education!

You can help your child and your community by working to prevent truancy.  The majority of young people who drop out are truant the year before they quit school. Dropping out of school is linked to problems that last well into adulthood. For example, adults who dropped out of high school often:

  • Have trouble getting a job – Most employers look for employees who have graduated from college or high school or received a diploma from a General Education Development (GED) program.
  • Earn less -Dropouts earn an average of 50% less each year that high school graduates.  Dropouts earn an average of 1 million dollars less over a lifetime than college graduates.
  • Have legal problems – Dropouts are more likely to commit crimes and go to jail than high school graduates.
  • Need public assistance – Dropouts are much more likely to apply for and use government aid in order to pay for basic expenses, such as housing and food.
  • Develop unhealthy habits – High school dropouts are much more likely to smoke, abuse alcohol or other drugs and to be over weight.

Also, school systems lose government funding, have problem attracting quality teachers, keeping classroom sizes small, buying new books or technology, such as computers, have problems maintaining school facilities, making improvements and supporting certain activities, such as after-school programs.  Communities with high truancy rate may have more criminal activity such as theft and vandalism, pay high taxes for law enforcement and have lower property values. And, the economy may suffer in areas with high truancy rate because businesses may loose customers as a result to kids hanging out on streets.  Businesses often avoid locating in areas with truancy problems.

Get involved in your child’s school– Doing so will show your child you place a high importance on his or her education. Keep in touch with teachers, volunteer, go to school events, join a parent-teacher organization or parent advisory group  and if you cannot spend time at school there are other ways to help by asking your child’s teacher for more ideas on ways to help from home.  Students with involved parents are more likely to go to school, get good grades, feel positive about school, graduate and get a high education.

Help with homework – This is the key to support your child’s education. In order to help you should be positive, create a study area, encourage good habits, be available, check your child’s work and get help, if needed. Ask your child’s teacher for more ideas on helping with homework.

Show you child you care by talking every day – Children who feel cared for are more likely to succeed in school and in life! Parents should talk with their child about school, friends, expectations and goals. By talking about school, you send a clear message that you value education.

Use positive discipline – Positive discipline teaches children what is expected of them, teaches children hot to behave by using natural and logical consequences, help children feel safe and secure and teaches children to get along with others. Discipline should never involve physical or verbal abuse. Start by setting a few rules, decide what will happen if rules are broken, let you child help, be consistent, use positive reinforcement and model good behavior. Good Discipline lays the foundation for success in school and in life!

Encourage healthy habits – The healthier your child feels, the more likely he or she will attend school and be ready to learn. Encourage your child to get plenty of sleep, eat right, get enough physical activity, avoid tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and limit screen time.

Encourage your child to get involved in extracurricular activities – These are activities that occur outside of regular class time and may include sports teams, music and theater groups, academic clubs and student government associations.  Your child’s interest and abilities should guide the type of activities he or she gets involved in.  Make sure your child’s schedule is balanced.  Extracurricular activities should be monitored to ensure your child has enough time to sleep, study and have fun with friends and family.  Show your support by attending your child’s activities.

Get help if you need it – If you think problems at home may be preventing your child from succeeding at school, consider taking a parenting class, talking to a health-care provider, talking to someone that you trust or talking to a family therapist.  A willingness to change is the first step toward self-improvement.

Learn more – For more information on preventing truancy and being involved in your child’s education, contact local and state resources. Contact the local and state parent-teacher associations, school boards, legislators, social and family services and departments of education or education agencies.  Contact national resources U.S. Department of Education ( ), National Drop Prevention Centers ( ), National Center for School Engagement ( ) and the National PTA ( ).

You play a major role in your child’s education! Encourage regular school attendance, be involved in your child’s education and work with school staff.  Help your child get the education he or she needs to succeed in life!

College Preparation Checklist

In a speech to Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, President Obama  encouraged every American to complete at least one year of education beyond high school, whether at a community college, or an apprenticeship.

Visit to find out why you should consider college now and how to pay for it. The website also is available in the form of a workbook called “My Future, My Way: How to Go, How to Pay”. A PDF is at . You can learn about a wide variety of careers at .

Parents should use the FAFSA4caster at to find out how much federal student aid their child might receive. This information will help parents and students plan ahead.  Also, Parents can get tips from the following documents at (Click on “Helping Your Child) for suggestions on assisting your child with successfully completing assignments and helping your child through adolescence.