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Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 03/ 9/2010

A guide to help you advocate for your child

By Valerie Strauss

If you have ever wanted to advocate for your child’s education on the school and district level but weren’t sure where to start, here is a new guide by the PTA that offers a great deal of information that can help.

The reference guide -- which is also aimed at policymakers and advocates who want to develop legislative school reform initiatives -- contains a survey of laws in every state, as well as facts, analysis and policy recommendations for family engagement legislation at the state level.

Researchers have shown over and over that family engagement in a child’s education matters for success. Here’s how:|

Early Childhood
• Children whose parents read to them at home recognize letters of the alphabet and write their names sooner than those whose parents do not.

• Children whose parents teach them how to write words are able to identify letters and connect them to speech sounds.

• Children’s early cognitive development is enhanced by parental support in play and a supportive cognitive and literacy-oriented environment at home. These advantages often continue into the school years.


Elementary
• Children in grades K–3 whose parents participate in school activities have good work habits and stay on task.

• Children whose parents provide support with homework perform better in the classroom.

• Children whose parents explain educational tasks are more likely to participate in class, seek help from the teacher when needed, and monitor their own work.

Middle and High School
• Adolescents whose parents monitor their academic and social activities have lower rates of delinquency and higher rates of social competence and academic growth.

• Youth whose parents are familiar with college preparation requirements and are engaged in the application process are most likely to graduate from high school and attend college.

• Youth whose parents have high academic expectations and offer consistent encouragement for college have positive student outcomes.

Click here for the guide.

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By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  Elementary School, High School, Middle School, Parents  | Tags:  education advocacy  
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Next: Higher ed gender gap seems stable--except for Hispanics

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