Research indicates that middle school involvement is drastically different from involvement at the elementary level in that middle school parents help teachers less in the actual classroom and more at home by:
Holding children accountable for work and grades
Checking homework and graded assignments
Keeping up with progress reports and current grades
Maintaining lines of communication with teachers in good times and bad
This is not a time to back away and let your child take control of all responsibilities – they need you now more than ever!
Middle School students want parents around, but in a different way……
An interesting contradiction: Middle school students do not want parents "always around," but take comfort in that they are "always around!"
While they may resist it, this is the time your child needs GUIDANCE and BOUNDARIES as they try on more and more independence.
Students at this age are struggling to find their identities and are often filled with uncertainty…..they seek out and rely on their parents for supportive and active involvement in all aspects of their life including school. (Beghetto, 2001)
The benefits of parent involvement include the following:
What works for parents…………..
- Regularly checking homework assignments on the GOMS website against student’s work (http://goms.rocklin.k12.ca.us)
- "Our family prints all the teachers’ calendars on Monday and posts them on the refrigerator. Each night, our student has them out while doing their homework and shows us exactly what is being done that is due tomorrow."
- "Since we do not have an internet connection at home, one of our son’s weekly chores is to go to the Computer Lab each Monday either during lunch or after school and print each of his teacher’s calendars."
- Regular grade checks on the website
- "I check his grades every Friday afternoon from work. In order to participate in weekend activities, all of his grades must meet our expectations. If not, we set up a plan and activities are postponed until expectations are met."
- "I keep a post-it note on my computer monitor with my daughter’s ID number so I can check her grades whenever I need to."
- Consistent TIME and PLACE for homework (as much as possible)
- "There are too many distractions for our son if he does his homework in his room, so he sits at the kitchen table, away from the computer and TV."
- "We have a cell phone check-in basket in our home. When we get home, the phone is turned off and checked in. Once homework is complete, the cell phone is returned until bedtime. At bedtime, my daughter turns it back in to me, so she has no distractions when she should be sleeping."
- Maintain communication with teachers