Family engagement refers to the partnership between parents👪, guardians, and the school to support their children’s learning and social development. The goal of family engagement in society is to build relationships and a supportive environment where children and their families can thrive.
Another objective is to develop programs that will help parents/grandparents/guardians to guide their children’s education till they reach high school 🏫.
Such an engagement not only benefits your child’s ability to learn but also the school staff’s ability to educate children. In this article, I will discuss different ways in which teachers and parents 👪 can increase family engagement at school.
Fascinating family engagement activities
When our children enter kindergarten and preschool, it seems as though our work as parents has lessened significantly.
While to a certain extent that is true, research has shown that a parent’s involvement in their child’s education is still much needed.
With active participation, parents 👪 can improve communication and build trust in the education system.
Family engagement activities serve as the bridge between home and school 🏫, fostering a collaborating environment that enhances academic achievement and nurtures holistic development.
In this article, I have listed several family engagement activities that are wonderful for shaping your child’s educational trajectory.
Family Community-Building Exercises
Moving to a new town, city, or country can be an unpleasant experience for children. Therefore, whenever a new student enters my son’s class during the year, his teacher 🧑🏫and all the parents come together to welcome the parents 👪of the new kids.
I remember when I was welcomed, I was encouraged to reach out and connect with other parents to get me up to date with the curriculum. They also set up playdates with my kid, and that really helped my son find a footing amongst his peers.
Now, even when we are not welcoming new parents, all the parents come together at least once every two months to share parenting resources, socialize, and discuss upcoming events or tests.
Parent-Child Book Club
Host a monthly or quarterly parent-child book club where families can read age-appropriate books and discuss the books’ themes with the children.
A book club where parents 👪 from different backgrounds take part is a great way to open a conversation on different aspects of human existence whilst simultaneously promoting critical thinking and literacy.
Build A Lending Library
A lending library is a great initiative that can be easily put into place by the parents 👪. With the help of a lending library, children can lend each other puzzles, books, video games, or board games that they are no longer interested in their friends and neighbors.
This is a wonderful resource for single-household families or families that are struggling families.
The lending library fosters a sense of community amongst the children and reduces wastage. Children are also able to enjoy a variety of games and puzzles this way.
Host Mental Health Awareness Events
Invite experts on mental health to raise awareness amongst kids and parents on mental stressors, diseases, and illnesses that are common among children and adolescents.
Shed light on available resources within the community and remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Mental health awareness events are a great way to reach out to kids and parents 👪 struggling with mental health issues and the stigmas surrounding them and even encourage them to find support and seek help.
Art and Creativity Workshops
Participating in arts and crafts with your children is a great way to bond with them while fostering their creativity.
I have attended several of my children’s arts and crafts workshops, where parents 👪 are encouraged to participate in classroom projects.
These workshops are incredibly fun, and they are something that my kids look forward to often.
Family Talent Shows
Hosting a family talent show at the end of the year is not just a great way to bring the year to an end but a great platform for parents and children to showcase their unique talents.
You can create different categories where parents 👪and children can group up together to put up a performance. A talent show is a wonderful way to encourage kids to express themselves and even foster creativity.
Role-playing as an adult is an incredibly common part of our children’s social and oratory development.
Therefore, recently, my son’s school 🏫decided to invite all of the children and their parents 👪 to a formal lunch, where they must wear formal attire and eat their meals properly.
All of the parents had a blast organizing this event for the kids; some even provided live music for the party.
Healthy Living Workshops
Being a parent is a tough job, especially being the parent of young children. During this time, parents can feel lonely in their community, not commit to a healthy diet, and even get poor sleep.
For me, what really helped was hanging out with other parents 👪 who were in a similar predicament. Together, we came up with ideas for social gatherings that focused on healthy, mindful, and balanced living for both parents and children.
A school 🏫 fair is not just a wonderful way for parents to socialize with each other and parents 👪 it can also uplift the community by raising funds for a local charity.
Our school’s annual fundraiser does a great job of community building by picking a different not-for-profit every year. Parents and children are also encouraged to donate items and participate in auctions.
A family potluck is a great way to integrate a fun get-together with a lesson on the different cuisines from around the world.
My son and I recently attended a similar potluck hosted by his class teacher, and all of the kids and parents👪there had a blast trying new foods. It eventually opened up my son to try new cuisines.
Family Tree Projects
Help your child make a family tree with the help of their grandparents and other relatives. Through the process of making this family tree, I learned so much more new information about my grandparents and great-grandparents.
My son was fascinated to learn about his grandparents’ childhood, how they were raised, and what they did for fun.
Encourage your children to take part in a shared journal where you and your kids will exchange thoughts, express feelings, and share their experiences of the day.
Journaling is a great way to foster self-expression and non-verbal communication, along with improving your writing skills.
Parents 👪 and kids should have the opportunity to voice critical feedback in a judgment-free zone on the decisions made by the school 🏫 district board.
These surveys or focus groups can be extremely insightful and help create a supportive and adaptive environment for children.
Career Exploration Days
Parents 👪 can host a career exploration day at school for their children where they discuss their education and career trajectory.
A career exploration day is a wonderful way to help your children understand the commitment required to become a teacher 🧑🏫, a firefighter, a doctor, a surgeon, an astronaut, a chef, or a construction worker.
It can also help your children understand the diverse world of professions and how much time a person spends at their job.
Host a Grandparents Day
My mom wants nothing more than to spend every day with her grandchildren. My child’s school 🏫 has started to organize grandparent-grandchild days where grandparents can spend some quality time with their children.
Recently, my kids went to a pottery class with their grandmother and had a blast. These events have an overall positive impact on the grandparents as well as the grandchildren.
Field Trips With Parents
Teachers always need an extra pair of hands on a field trip. We, as parents, have decided to develop a roster where four parents 👪 will chaperone each field trip, depending on their schedule.
Although chaperoning can be hard, it is good to know that all of the parents have come together to take equal responsibility and help the teacher 🧑🏫.
Invite Legislative Representatives
It is extremely important for me as a parent to ensure that not only my child but every other child in my child’s school 🏫 gets the opportunity to embrace their true self and have every recourse available to them when their rights are infringed upon.
This sentiment is shared wholeheartedly by almost all parents 👪 in their child’s school. That is why we have taken the initiative to hold meetings with legislative representatives.
I implore other like-minded parents to do the same in order to make the school an inclusive and supportive space for all.
Language assistance is a considerate and thoughtful way of providing families with pertinent information in their native language.
Many kids who are first-generation immigrants struggle with asking their parents 👪 for help with schoolwork due to the language barrier.
By disseminating information in the parents’ native language, we can help them play an active role in their child’s education.
As your kids become older, they will want to travel to their friend’s house on their own, explore the woods, and go and come back from school 🏫.
This is just part of growing up. Kids seeking independence from their kids is actually a very good sign of parenting 👪 because it shows that you have raised your child to have self-reliance and good self-esteem.
To strengthen your child’s navigation skills, you should take them on treasure hunts and scavenger hunts, where they have to use a GPS or a map to find the hidden items with their friends. This activity will also foster teamwork.
Parent-Child Fitness Challenges
Children can be a handful, especially when they don’t get to release their physical energy during the day. With schoolwork and homework, it can be hard for children and adolescents to find the time to exercise.
The same goes for adults. My children and I love going on walks, bike rides, hikes, and dance classes where I and other parents 👪 can participate and get exercise as well.
Community Service Activity
Parents part of a family engagement group should participate in community service activities together to instill the values of social responsibility, empathy, and compassion in their children.
Our family engagement group tries to host a clothing drive regularly and volunteers at the local soup kitchen.
Technology Exploration Sessions
I am not a very tech-savvy person. So, it can be a little hard for me to navigate different educational apps, websites, and digital teaching tools used by teachers 🧑🏫 to keep me up to date.
Through the technology exploration sessions hosted by my children’s teachers, I have been able to learn how to navigate these teaching tools. These sessions have also been great at teaching children and parents 👪 about responsible digital habits and social trends.
Mutual Support Mechanisms
It was only after I had children that I recognized the importance of having a community- neighbors, friends, and relatives who can help you out and make you feel secure in your surroundings.
Setting up mutual support mechanisms with other parents at my children’s school has helped parents 👪 build a community of like-minded parents who want to help each other out at times of great stress and need.
With the help of these mechanisms, we have built a carpool system, playgroups, and even a babysitting roster, which gives each parent some time to relax, focus on their mental health, and pay attention to their work.
Financial Literacy Discussions
In my opinion, teachers and parents 👪 should come together to improve our children’s financial literacy. Not knowing how to fill out a tax form or even where to procure a tax form can be stressful.
It is also extremely stressful for adults as young as 18 years old to opt for predatory student loan schemes that can take decades to repay. Therefore, financial literacy lessons on budgeting, taxes, and savings can be extremely beneficial for children.
Family Math Night
I grew up with a fear of math. Fearing math is a pretty common phenomenon but one that is totally not necessary. As a grown-up, I see the importance of calculating percentages and converting units, amongst other mathematical applications.
Now, as a parent 👪, I want to inculcate in my children the importance of mathematics and make them see that it is not something to be afraid of.
Therefore, every now and then, I like to engage the entire family in games, challenges, and activities that can strengthen their numerical skills.
Cultural Heritage Celebrations
Cultural heritage celebrations are a wonderful way to foster a sense of inclusivity and cultural understanding in your children from a young age.
We are currently living in a society where the rights of several minority groups are being stripped away due to bigotry and ignorance.
It is important for us as parents 👪 to inculcate in our children that all people are deserving of their respect and kindness no matter what their ethnicity, gender, or sexuality is.
Active participation in your child’s academic pursuits can have a profound impact on your child’s mental and social development.
A collaborative relationship between different parents and teachers 🧑🏫 can help your child develop enriched relationships built on community support and progress.
Hopefully, the activities listed in this article have helped you as a parent 👪 or as a teacher to increase family engagement.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.