Parents Learn With Students

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

The role has been reversed, and now parents are 'learning' how to help their children become better students.

Dothan city schools are trying to do more for students, by encouraging parents to become more involved in their children's education.

Officials say parental involvement helps improve grades, boost morale, and leave 'No Child Left Behind.'

Mini Davis has two grandchildren at Girard Middle, one in the 7th grade, the other in the 8th grade. And like all parents, she didn't come for a PTO meeting; she's learning how to effectively help her grandkids with their homework.

"I didn't get to go to school like they did, I'm 65 years old so I didn't get got to school to learn about all this new stuff they got, now we got ours the hard way, so we learn from each other."

The parent involvement program was planted last year at Girard, but really came to bloom this school year.

In a survey, parents get to indicate what areas they'd like addressed during these training sessions.

This one, focused on effective ways to help students learn math skills.

But every session is not solely about academics.

Girard Teacher, and Program Initiator Pam Hardy says, "Sometimes, it may be social and wherever parents feel the most need we try and fill those request"

Before, Richard and Christy Miller grazed over their kids’ homework, pointing out what was right and wrong, but their approach now will be different.

Richard says, "Now, with the program they gave us all kinds of helpful hints-we can go on the internet, got our book, if there's something we don't understand it helps us understand better'

During these sessions, parents are separated by grade level, and they meet every nine weeks, right after progress reports are issued.

U.S. Education Department research shows that when parents are actively involved in their children's education, they do better in school.

And, the academic level of the parents, their socio-economic level, and their ethnic or racial origin are not determining factors for academic success.


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