Texas Tech professor says parent involvement linked to student success in the classroom

Updated: Aug. 7, 2019 at 9:32 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With the beginning of school just around the corner, it’s time for parents and caregivers to help their children get started on the right foot.

Mitzi Ziegner, Associate Chair of Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech University, said as summer comes to a close, it’s time to start helping your child into a routine for the upcoming school year.

“Maybe if you’ve been staying up later, going to bed a little earlier, making sure that you’re starting to talk about plans for ‘what will we take for lunch boxes this year,’ ‘what are you most excited about,’ kind of getting the conversation started so they can be excited about the school year,” Ziegner said.

She said some children making a big transition like kindergarten to first grade or elementary to middle school may be feeling anxious.

“Talking about what you’re excited about, what you’re looking forward to, I think sometimes alleviates some of those fears,” Ziegner said.

Ziegner said encouraging family involvement in a child’s education is important.

“It sends such a clear message to your child that you value school, education and the work that their teachers are doing and that’s a lesson that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” Ziegner said.

"A parent or caregiver can do this by being involved in volunteering or by attending curriculum nights and school programs.

Ziegner said for parents or caregivers, forming a relationship with the teacher is also beneficial for your child’s success.

“Keeping the lines of communication open is so important, and just this helps in so many relationships, but just assuming best intentions always,” Ziegner said.

But, once the school year is underway it can be hard to maintain these habits.

“In the beginning we’re packing these healthy lunches and we’re planning, maybe, what we’re going to wear the night before and it’s so easy in the day to day to get busy and overwhelmed and forget to do that.”

Ziegner suggested involving your child in the creation of these rhythms to help maintain good habits.

“I always find too that if a child is a part of the planning for something, they’re a lot more willing to and excited about what’s going on,” Ziegner said.

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