Getting Parents Back-To-School

Over fifty million young students will be strapping on their backpacks and heading back to school. But this school year let’s pretend we’re going to give parents the grades instead of the students. 

No, we won’t expect parents to remember algebra or what to do with a dangling modifier, but we’ll test them in a far more revealing way.

Parents will need to demonstrate their ability to send their children to school equipped to learn. In the elementary grades this means reading to them nightly, assisting them with homework, and asking questions about what they’re learning. 

If students go to school without their homework done, parents will be docked points. Extra credit will be given to parents who volunteer at least once a week in the classroom, or offering assistance to the teacher in other ways.

As students enter those dicey middle school years, the stakes are higher. If respect hasn’t been taught at home and belligerence shows up in the classroom, parents will need to report to the principal’s office immediately. Corrective measures will include group detention. This gives a whole new meaning to family time.

For passing grades, parents will need to know their student’s classmates, faculty, and volunteer at the numerous fundraisers necessary for band, sports, and any other extra curricular activity. 

Yes, it costs time, but there isn’t a more worthy investment than one’s child.

High school. The final laps of the race. Remember, parents are on the same team as the student and their teachers—this is no time to drop the baton in the relay. A Parent’s Diploma will be awarded at graduation if they’ve earned all the needed credits. It won’t be easy. Every assignment counts. Parents need to make certain they know what classes their student is in—and all homework and projects are done on time and with quality. Bonus points for helping their student make those post-graduation plans.

Why should we hold teachers responsible for student outcome since they don’t have the privilege to monitor student's non-school hours?  Why should students be expected to succeed if parents don’t encourage that effort? Parenting is more than food and housing. It's preparing children for an independent future. It begins at home, not school. Kids don’t fail. Parents do. 

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