Are your students’ families unsure of how they can support their child with their math development? Do they recognize the importance of their involvement? Parent participation is incredibly important in all aspects of a child’s education, but oftentimes parents are unsure of their role in their child’s education. The role of parents in education cannot be overstated! It’s our responsibility as educators to remove barriers and extend a hand to invite families to engage in their child’s education. This growing partnership (parent-teacher relationship) leads to better learning outcomes for their children and an overall positive experience for families. Utilize the list of strategies for increasing parent participation below to help do your part and help your students reach their highest potential!
WHAT IS PARENT PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATION?
Parent participation, which is also often called parent involvement or family involvement, refers to the participation of students’ parents or guardians in their children’s education. It is the responsibility of both the school and the families to engage with one another and to both be active participants in a child’s education; however, the school must take on the load of laying the foundation, creating opportunities for engagement, communicating with families about these opportunities, and nurturing the relationship. This partnership leads to a child’s future success in school and beyond.
WHY IS PARENT PARTICIPATION IMPORTANT IN MATH?
Increasing parent participation in math is important because it impacts not only students’ attitude toward math and proficiency levels this school year, but also their future success in their math education. If a child’s family talks about math in a positive way, monitors homework and provides reteaching opportunities as needed, and incorporates math opportunities into their everyday lives, the child will thrive with these supports in place! In situations where parents and teachers are working together, good things happen!
20 WAYS TO PROMOTE FAMILY INVOLVEMENT IN MATH
Here are 20 parent engagement strategies to help you promote family involvement in your classroom!
- Call, email, or write a note to students’ families to update them on their progress.
- Encourage open communication.
- Send home newsletters to keep families informed on what their child is working on in math.
- Host an informative math night at your school to provide information and resources to families.
- Send home articles about how families can support their child.
- Explain the similarities and difference between math when they were in school and math now.
- Send home resources for families to use to help their child practice math skills at home (e.g. flashcards).
- Host math nights where students can come and play games and encourage parents to help you plan the events.
- Send home summer work to maintain math skills.
- Host a workshop that teaches families how to support their child at home.
- Create and send home a survey to families asking for feedback on how math homework is going at home and if they need additional supports or have any questions.
- Invite volunteers to help during math time by teaching students how to play a game during a center.
- Recommend apps and websites to use at home.
- Invite families to observe a math lesson.
- Assign homework that requires students to initiate conversations with their family about math.
- Invite family members to come in and discuss how they use math every day in their career.
- Require a family member to sign math homework.
- Invite families on math field trips.
- Model a positive attitude toward math when talking to families.
- Send home a list of board games that practice math skills.
10 PIECES OF ADVICE TO SHARE WITH PARENTS ABOUT MATH
- Make math fun and incorporate it into everyday experiences.
- Use math talk.
- Give your child the opportunity to problem solve and think critically before jumping in and helping.
- Encourage your child to persevere through a math problem.
- Read picture books that are related to math.
- Practice money when you go grocery shopping (e.g. If we have $5, can we buy 2 jars of jelly for $2.45 each?).
- Practice money when you go toy shopping (e.g. The toy you want is $25, but it is on sale for 20% off. How much does the toy cost now?).
- Practice money by having them count your change at home.
- Practice time throughout the day (e.g. If it is 1:30 now, what time will it be in a half hour?).
- Sing songs about math concepts.
TRY A COLLECTION OF OUR MATH RESOURCES FOR FREE!
We hope these ideas related to increasing parent participation in math is helpful and would love for you to try these math resources with your students. They offer students opportunities to practice grade level concepts and skills in fun and engaging ways. You can download worksheets specific to your grade level (along with lots of other math freebies) in our free printable math resources bundle using this link: free printable math activities for elementary teachers.