GEMS schools offer parents and care givers many opportunities to get involved in school life. From fundraisers to trash clean-up or tree-planting, adults are welcome into the school to help or further improve the school environment. Involvement is important to help people feel connected to the school, and it’s an excellent way to build a sense of community among parents, teachers and students.
Different from involvement, however, and with more direct impact on student achievement is parent’s engagement in their son or daughter’s learning at home. International research shows that parents who are actively and consistently engaged in their children’s learning can add the equivalent of two to three years of formal education to that student over their school career. The children of engaged parents do better at school, have better social skills and behavior, and make better life choices. (see Parental Engagement Research page)
To be ‘engaged’ means to support and encourage learning beyond the school walls - at home, anywhere, anytime… Engaged parents are strong role models of learning and send the message that they value education. They demonstrate respect for education by making time for home learning, and believing that their child can learn.
Every parent, regardless of culture, language or experience, has something to offer their child, and conversation is at the heart of this positive parental engagement. As partners in the education process, parents can reinforce learning by discussing a variety of topics, asking clever questions, listening, doing activities or reading together, and perhaps most importantly, encouraging their children with praise and direction.
Parents can leave everything to school, but their children would miss out on thousands of hours of potential learning that could be going on at home. This is especially true when you take account of evenings, weekends and holidays spent outside of class, that amount to as much as 85 per cent of students’ waking hours.
GEMS believes very passionately in helping all of our students reach their full potential. We see our parents as central to that aspiration, and seek to give them the information, tools and resources to help their children be the best they can be. Visit www.gemsparents.com for more information.