Parents and the 180 Day School Year
“Education is the great engine of personal
development. It is through education that
the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor,
that a son of a mine worker can become the
head of the mine, that a child of farm workers
can become the president of a nation.”
The new school year is upon us, 180 days of
educational growth, clarity, maturity, engagement
and the realization that all students are valuable.
180 days of parent and teacher team work
Teachers have been preparing for their students
even as the past school year came to a close. The
profession of education is not just 180 days:
it expands across weeks, months and years.
Professional educators and administrators understand
that the process of teaching is built on a foundation
that uses accumulated data from formative and
summative assessments throughout the school year.
These assessments measure, track, gauge and create
a trail of learning that is progressive and representative
of the abilities of students to grow and excel academically.
AYP – Annual Yearly Progress is important because
it justifiably shows that children are learning or if
there are challenges.
Parents should ask to see their child’s test scores to
understand how their children are progressing through
the school year. Communication is very important for
the success of the student.
Teaching children is a profession that requires training,
certification, dedication, patience and a passion to assist
children to grow beyond their current levels. Education
does starts at home: when a child is born, that child is
dependent upon its parents to make the best decisions
to set the foundation for life-long learning.
A parent’s educational level is an important predictor
of children’s educational and behavioral outcomes.
If a parent loves learning their children will model
A parent can set the foundation of a child’s future by their
emphasis on the value of learning and importance they place on
reading, literacy and comprehension. Stated on PBS.org
“The Role of Parents” “we (parents) are our children’s learning
models. Our attitudes about education can inspire theirs and
show them how to take charge of their own educational journey.”
What more important role can a parent play than “teaching”
their children to love learning?
American children must understand the opportunities they have
when compared to other children globally. Yes they will be
competing for careers nationally, but when you read stories
from children from Nepal and other nations American parents
must make education a priority in their homes.
Stated by Bibhuti from Nepal about education, “Most children
in rural Nepal don’t have enough time to spend on books
because they have to help their struggling families with work
around the house and fields. These moments are far too rare
for most underprivileged children, especially girls.”
Appreciate the educational resources that are available and
instill in children not just the how valuable education is
but the why. America despite its critics has one of
the best educational systems in the free world. Those that
disagree I challenge them to send their children to
another nation to obtain an elementary, middle or
high school education.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember.
Involve me and I’ll understand.” Confucius
These tips are a guide to help parents, help their children
embrace learning. To love learning and build a culture in
their homes for learning.
Suggestions for parents to stay engaged with their children
Parents be a role model for learning.
Parents are their children’s first teacher.
A parent’s responsibility both moral and ethical is to show
how school can extend the learning you began together at
home, and how exciting and meaningful this learning can be.
Parents pay attention to what your child loves.
Find out what your child’s interests are and build on them.
This will show you the parent how your child likes to learn.
Their learning style is developing.
Parents learn how your child learns.
Children use combination of modalities to learn:
visually, tactile, auditory and combinations.
Parents learn how your child learns so you can meet their
learning styles and share with their teacher. Teachers use
DI or Differentiated Instruction in the classroom so compare
Parents set aside time to read together.
Parents read aloud regularly even to your older kids and
allow them to read to you. Reading early creates a platform
to share literacy and creates higher levels of comprehension
if what is read is discussed. Start a reading club in your
home, community and even in your child’s school.
Parents connect what your child learns to
Allow learning to reflect real life situations. Whether
shopping, traveling, and exploring your world of learning
can come along as being fun. The skills of mathematics,
reading, social studies and even science can be discovered.
Parents help your child take charge of their learning.
Parents help your child have ownership of their learning.
Allow them time to choose what they want to read and
how they want to learn. Use available resources like
the library and museums. Allow children to celebrate
successes and learn from failures.
Parents keep TV, Technology and Social Media to
These interactive entertainment sources can be distractions
and hindrances to learning. Watching TV diminishes creativity,
imagination and learning exploration depending on the
programming and theme of what you are watching.
Use toys, books and even crafts to create a learning center
instead of TV and Technology.
Parents learn something new yourself.
Parents if you share your love for learning your children
will love to learn. Demonstrate your willingness to learn new
things and even if you struggle this is good for growth.
Showing how to overcome adversity and learning challenges.
180 Days of Learning is important to take advantage of
if you do not take advantage of each day you can never
get the day or that opportunity back.
Wm Jackson, M.Edu
@wmjackson – Twitter
Parent, Educator, Blogger
Speaker, Mentor and Adopted Granddaddy