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Parent with elementary child talking to teacher at school

Connecting with Your Child’s School

Strong home-to-school connections are one of the best ways to support your child’s academic, social, and emotional growth. Get some tips on how to build and maintain meaningful communication and involvement with your child’s school.

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The importance of home-to-school connections

Here are key reasons why it is important to connect with your child’s elementary school:

  • To stay informed about your child’s progress. The more you know about what your child is learning and how they are doing in school, the better equipped you will be to support their academic success.
  • To build a relationship with your child’s teacher. A strong relationship with your child’s teacher can help you to better understand your child’s needs and to advocate for them effectively.
  • To get involved in your child’s education. There are many ways to get involved in your child’s education, such as volunteering in the classroom, attending school events, or participating in parent-teacher conferences. Getting involved can help you to support your child’s learning and to make sure that they are getting the most out of their education.
  • To create a sense of community. Connecting with your child’s school can help you to connect with other parents and to build a sense of community. This can be especially helpful if you are new to the area or if you do not have many other family or friends in the area.

How to connect

Here are some tips on how you can connect with your child’s school and teachers.

Attend back-to-school night or open house

This is a great opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, learn about the school’s policies and procedures, and ask any questions you have.

Prioritize parent-teacher conferences

Parents and teachers are busy people! The parent-teacher conference gives you one-on-one time to talk to your child’s teacher about their progress, and to share your thoughts and concerns.

Volunteer in the classroom

Most schools welcome and value volunteers, and sharing your time in the classroom our at whole-school events is a good way to get to know your child’s teacher and to support their learning. There are many different ways to volunteer, so you can find something that fits your interests and schedule.

Reach out to your child’s teacher

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s progress, don’t be afraid to reach out to their teacher. Send emails, notes, or make phone calls to check in and see how things are going. Find out what forms of communication your child’s teacher prefers, and that will keep the communication flowing smoothly.

Get involved in school activities

Most schools have a full calendar of events and support organizations. Check the school’s website for listings and contact information. Opportunities include attending school events, helping out with fundraisers, or joining the PTA. Participating in school events like fun runs is a chance to see your child in action and to get involved in the school community. 

Volunteer for literacy-related school activities

Many schools host special events that celebrate reading and books. Look into how you can get involved with school-based book festivals, book swaps, book drives, after-school book clubs, author visits, author study nights, and reader’s theater performances. 

Be a learning role model

Show your child that you value education and learning, through modeling your own enthusiasm for learning. If you are taking classes, reading books, and planning visits to local museums, zoos, and nature centers it communicates to your child that we are all lifelong learners!

Support your child’s learning at home

Show interest in your child’s homework each day (a great way to stay on top of what they are learning) — and offer help if needed. Read aloud every day, even if just for 15 minutes. This will go a long way to support your child’s literacy growth. And find lots of ways to encourage your child to explore their interests — such as visits to the library, taking local field trips, listening to kid-friendly podcasts, and doing hands-on activities that encourage creativity and critical thinking. 

Talk to your child about school

Instead of asking the generic “How was your day?” think about other kinds of questions to prompt conversation and help you connect with your child’s life at school:

  • What was the best thing that happened today? Encourages your child to focus on the positive aspects of their day.
  • What was the most challenging thing you did today? Helps your child reflect on their accomplishments and learn from their mistakes.
  • What one new thing did you learn today? Encourages your child think about their academic progress and their overall development.
  • Who did you spend time with today? Gives you insight into child’s friends and social circle.
  • What did you do for fun today? Helps you learn more about what your child enjoys doing and how they spend their free time.
  • Tell me something that made you laugh today. Shows that you value your child’s sense of humor and what makes them happy.
  • Is there anything you want to talk about? This question leaves the door open for your child to share anything they’re thinking or feeling, whether it’s good or bad.

Be patient

It takes time to build a strong relationship with a school and the staff — don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight.

If you have concerns

If you have a child who struggles with reading, explore the resources in our Helping All Readers section. Here are some of the highlights:

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Browse our parent engagement resource library

Learn more about the importance of school-to-home connections and how to build strong bonds between families and schools through our articles, tips for parents, video, and research briefs. Visit our Parent Engagement section