Iowa Area Education Agencies

Parent Involvement: The Key to Academic Success

More and more, studies are showing that when parents are involved in their children’s education, academic achievement goes up. Still, given the pace of today’s busy family life, how can parents get and stay involved?

Here are some basic ideas for supporting your older child’s educational experience:
  • Use travel time in the car to talk about school. Many studies have shown that children do better in school when they believe their parents value education. Use travel time in the car to talk about the day’s events at school, which demonstrates your interest. Instead of asking, “How was school?” (which almost always gets the one word answer of “fine”) ask questions like, “What was the best part of school today?”, “What went well?” and “What seemed hard today?” to get children talking.
  • Provide a quiet, comfortable place to do homework. Help your child eliminate distractions by turning off the television and staying close by to assist with questions. Make homework a part of the routine of the evening.
  • Put limits on emailing, texting, instant messaging, etc. Today’s students have more ways to communicate with their peers than any other generation and yet it is all done through the buffer of technology. Some studies show that all that technology is depriving today’s children of the ability to relate well to others interpersonally (one-on-one) and deal successfully with conflict. Help your child set limits so that social development and education stay top priorities. Technology is wonderful but can also be a major distraction from academics.
  • Set a goal to spend at least three hours volunteering in your child’s school over the course of the school year. Whether serving on a district improvement committee, helping out with a special celebration in the classroom or simply assisting the teaching staff, make a personal connection.
  • Put education first. Today’s families are stretched thin balancing the demands of work, family, extra-curricular activities, athletics, and social activities. Education can quietly take a “back seat” in the hustle of day-to-day life. Step back now and then to evaluate priorities and be sure that education still remains at the top.
Tips for helping your young child prepare for school:
  • Teach your child to take care of him or herself. It is important that before entering kindergarten children can independently handle their bathroom needs, put on and tie shoes, blow his or her nose and dress. If your child is struggling with these tasks, your local Area Education Agency can help.
  • Teach listening skills and taking turns.It is essential that before your child enters kindergarten that she or he have lots of practice listening and also taking turns with other children in play. If you suspect that your child is having difficulty hearing, your local Area Education Agency can provide a free hearing screening.
  • Teach your child to follow directions from adults. Children are developmentally ready to handle two to three step directions as early as four years of age. Give your child lots of practice and praise for following directions.
  • Make sure your child has access to healthy meals and snacks. Good nutrition is an essential part of growth and development in all children, but especially young children. Be sure your young child is getting three balanced meals a day plus snacks. A good rule of thumb for portion size is a tablespoon of each food item for every year of age. (This will change as your child grows. Let his or her growing appetite be your guide.)
  • Read to your child every day. Reading is one of the most important things you can do for your child. Challenge your family to read a minimum of 15 minutes each day to your child allowing him or her to help turn pages and discuss pictures and ideas. Make reading a fun, bonding time for you and your child.



Iowa Area Education Agencies
Central Rivers AEA Grant Wood AEA Great Prairie AEA Green Hills AEA Heartland AEA Keystone AEA Mississippi Bend Northwest AEA Prarie Lakes AEA
All Iowa AEAs are required to adhere to state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination in programs, activities and employment practices. For specific information, contact your AEA.
Iowa Area Education Agencies
Connie Johnson
Statewide Communications Director
Iowa Area Education Agencies
712/335-3588 ext. 2015

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About AEAs
Iowa Area Education Agencies (AEAs) were created in 1974 by the Iowa legislature to ensure equal educational opportunities for all children from birth through age 21. As regional service agencies, AEAs provide special education and school improvement services for students, families, teachers, administrators, and their communities.

© 2017 Iowa Area Education Agencies. All Rights Reserved.

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© 2017 Iowa Area Education Agencies. All Rights Reserved.