Parents & Students

Resources and links to help parents and students be successful in school. 

All parents want their children to succeed. Whatever their background, all parents want their children to do their best. Schools must motivate students and expect the best from them in all of their subjects, no matter what their background or what is going on at home. The more schools know about children’s daily lives, language, and culture, the more they will be able to see their potential.

Parental Involvement

When parents and families get personally involved in education, their children do better in school and grow up to be more successful in life.

Sounds like common sense, doesn't it?

Yet parental involvement is one of the most overlooked aspects of American education today. The fact is, many parents don't realize how important it is to get involved in their children's learning. As one dad said when he began to read to his daughter every day and discovered that it improved her learning, "I never realized how much it would mean to her to hear me read." Other parents would like to be involved but have trouble finding the time.

All parents and family members should try to find the time and make the effort because research shows that when families get involved, their children:

  • Get better grades and test scores. 
  • Graduate from high school at higher rates. 
  • Are more likely to go on to higher education. 
  • Are better behaved and have more positive attitudes.

Family involvement is also one of the best investments a family can make. Students who graduate from high school earn, on average, $200,000 more in their lifetimes than students who drop out. College graduates make almost $1 million more!

Most important of all, ALL parents and families can enjoy these benefits. It doesn't matter how much money you have. It doesn't matter how much formal education you've had yourself or how well you did in school. And family involvement works for children at all grade levels.

What is "family involvement in education"?

It's a lot of different types of activities. Some parents and families may have the time to get involved in many ways. Others may only have the time for one or two activities. But whatever your level of involvement, remember: If you get involved and stay involved, you can make a world of difference.

Family involvement can be as simple as asking your children, "How was school today?" Parents can also do any of the following to participate in their child's education. 

  • From an early age, read a bedtime story to your preschool child. 
  • Listen while your child reads to you.
  • Check homework every night. 
  • Get involved in PTA. 
  • Discuss your children's progress with teachers. 
  • Help your child get enough sleep by keeping a regular bedtime.
  • Vote in school board elections. 
  • Limit screentime to no more than two hours on school nights. 
  • Become an advocate for better education in your community and state. 

Many children and parents yearn for this kind of togetherness these days. Among students aged 10 to 13, for example, 72 percent say they would like to talk to their parents about their homework. Forty percent of parents across the country believe they are not devoting enough time to their children's education. And teachers say that increasing parental involvement in education should be the number one priority for public education in the next few years.

(Adapted from "Get Involved! How Parents and Families Can Help Their Children Do Better in School," a brochure published by the Family Involvement Partnership for Learning. You can obtain a copy of the brochure by contacting the partnership at 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-8173.)

Resources

All documents and brochures listed below are portable document files (pdfs).

Discipline for Children and Teens

Raising a Successful Reader

Parent Power

Community Education Fliers

Testing

Miscellaneous

Missouri Learning Standards 

The Missouri Learning Standards define the knowledge and skills students need in each grade level and course for success in college, other post-secondary training, and careers. These expectations are aligned to the Show-Me Standards, which define what all Missouri high school graduates should know and be able to do.

The Missouri Learning Standards do not dictate curriculum. Local districts and schools make their own decisions about curriculum, instructional strategies, materials, and textbooks.

  • Parents' Guides to Student Success (PTA)Search for “Parents’ Guide to Student Success.” National PTA® created the guides for each K-8 grade and two for grades 9-12 (one for English language arts/literacy and one for mathematics). Guides include activities that parents can do at home to support their child's learning. Available to download in English and Spanish. 
  • KhanAcademy.org - This site has updated many K-12 math exercises to address Common Core Math Standards and is adding more. You can brush up your own skills or set it up for your children to use. 

Links for Parents & Students 

Great sites for parents, just a click away on the Internet.

ABCTeach Network
This is a site for kids, parents, student teachers, and teachers. It offers more than 5,000 free printable pages. Visitors to this Web site can click on the following areas: basics, research/reports, teaching extras, portfolios, shape books, ABC forums, theme units, reading comprehension, fun activities, babysitting/daycare, and flashcards.

Action for Nature
This site gives young people ideas on how to be environmentally friendly. Young people from around the world post messages and tell what they did to benefit nature where they live.

Biography.com
This site contains "the Web's best bios" and includes trivia questions, born-on-this-day search opportunities, "biofeedback" and "bioTrivia." 

Child Safety on the Information Highway
Information for parents on the appropriate use of the Internet from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Includes guidelines for parents and "Rules for Online Safety" for students.

CollegeXpress.com
Search for colleges, scholarships, government loans, and private loans. Find out what you are eligible for by searching the extensive database of over 320,000 scholarships. Making a plan for college is made easier by logging into this Web site.

Council of the Great City Schools 
Brings together 76 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems in a coalition dedicated to the improvement of education for children in the inner cities. 

Family Education Network
A for-profit membership organization that offers parents and children an array of features organized by topic and grade level.

FunBrain
This site gives parents a chance to participate in their child's education and includes "Parent Quizzes" and "Parent/Kid Challenges." Students can take quizzes on this site and then receive responses from their teachers.

Funology: The Science of Having Fun
There are hundreds of activities for kids and their teachers to investigate. Favorites—Abracadabra (lots of # tricks) and Laboratory-(enough chemistry, biology, and physics to keep everyone happy)

Hands-On Children's Museum
An interactive science, art, and adventure museum for children ages 10 and under. Meet Casbah the camel, visit the pet parade and solve a maze.

Kidzone
This site has crafts, coloring pages, and greeting cards for kids as well as sites for teachers. "Kidzone Fun Facts" links include animal facts, geography, language arts, magic tricks, math, thematic units, and science experiments. There are free printable worksheets available in each section.

Living Desert
This site explores the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, CA. It includes an online tour of the site and allows users to click on animals of interest.

National Parent Information Network
This network provides information and communications capabilities to parents and those who work with them. Includes resources for parents and resources for those who work with parents.

National Park Service
The National Park Service site allows users to "visit" America's national parks, view links to the past, and learn about nature and science in the parks.

Parents for Public Schools
Parents for Public Schools is a national organization of community-based chapters working to strengthen public schools through broad-based enrollment. Invigorated by a diverse membership, their proactive involvement helps public schools attract all families in a community by making sure all schools effectively serve all children. The "resources" button at this site leads to topics including advocacy, business/community partners, civic engagement, educational programs and models, professional development, and educators' organizations.

PrimaryGames.com
This site contains educational games for elementary students. Games are continuously added throughout the year.

PTA
National PTA Leader's Guide to Parent and Family Involvement explains how to get more involved at your child's school.

Publications for Parents
Access a variety of publications for parents available from the U.S. Department of Education, including Helping Your Child series of brochures, ERIC parent brochures, Summer Home Learning Recipes, and Preparing Your Child for College.

Univision Educacion 
Completely in Spanish, this site provides grade-level guides for parents and other Common Core information.

X-Rays in Space
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched in July of 1999 from the space shuttle Columbia. You can now see the detailed images it sends back to Earth.