It is an undeniable fact that a father’s involvement in his child’s life can reap immense benefits. For example, children whose fathers take an interest in their education do much better in school than kids whose fathers are not involved. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, children with highly involved fathers (the study included stepfathers, biological fathers, adoptive fathers and even male “father figures” such as uncles under the umbrella of dads) were 43 percent more likely than kids without involved dads to earn mostly A’s in school.
Teachers, many times subconsciously, associate their expectations of individual students with the amount of involvement of the students’ parents. Fathers who are visibly involved in their children’s school demonstrate the importance of education and build trust among teachers and administrators. These factors ultimately improve the child’s likelihood of success in the classroom.
Unfortunately, many fathers cannot be as involved as they’d like to be because of work, economic, or physical constraints. However, there are still many opportunities for father’s to get involved. In fact, there are three critical times when a father’s involvement can have the biggest impact.
On the First Day of School
A new school year offers the promise of a fresh start. This is a time when teachers and students are just meeting each other and forming initial opinions. Meeting your child’s teachers, learning about their background, sharing information with them about your son or daughter that can help in the classroom, and sharing your family’s academic goals for the year helps set the stage for open communication and heightened expectations.
During Open House Events
Unlike parent/teacher conferences, open house events are less formal and provide perfect setting for fathers to connect or reconnect with teachers. Many teachers discuss curriculum, classroom expectations, and volunteer opportunities. The relaxed environment allows fathers to ask questions about homework, assessments, extra credit assignments, and grading. A father’s presence reaffirms the family’s commitment to finishing the year strong.
At the First Sign of Academic Difficulty
Many bright and capable students can hit a rough patch academically. That’s why it’s so important for dads to be aware homework and test scores, and pay close attention to progress reports. If you notice a dip in your child’s grades, you must address the situation swiftly. Reach out to the teacher for information on how to get his child back on track. Remain positive and keep in close communication with the teacher while you work together to improve your child’s grades. Establishing this type of partnership shows the teacher that you are allies during both good and bad times. This situation can also help you to grow closer to your child. Spending time with your child reviewing assignments will give him or her the confidence and security that he or she needs to make improvements.
It truly does take a village to raise a child. School provides a major component to this village concept. Having parents and teachers on the same page improves the overall experience of our children’s academic journey and models great life skills for them as they learn to navigate their world.