Children learn most of their attitudes and behavior from family. At home, you can teach your children skills to help them do well with others. Manners, respect, and obedience are important, but there are many other skills that will help them succeed at school. Teach them to count, and teach them the names and uses of objects, like the telephone, the weather, and your address. If English is difficult, speak in your native tongue to accelerate your child’s learning. If you can, however, try learning English, together with your child.
Meet with your children’s teachers frequently. Before meeting with the teacher, ask the school for a translator, or bring along a friend, or family member who speaks both English and Spanish. It is important that you can speak freely to teachers, and understand them as well. Ask about your child’s learning and behavior. Ask about things you can do at home to help your child learn more effectively. Talk to other parents who have been involved with local schools to find out what their experiences have been.
The Migrant Education Program Can Help
In the United States, universal education includes all children, including children from farmworker families. The United States Government has funded a program called the Migrant Education Program (MEP). The MEP can be found in all 50 states, but California’s is the largest in the Nation. This is because one out of every three students from farmworker families lives in California.
The MEP was established to provide children from farmworker families with special educational services. There is even a tutoring service, called Mini Corp, to give academic and social support if needed, to help students master their school work and stay in school.
The tutors come from farmworker family backgrounds and are full-time college students. Mini-Corps tutors work with students during the school year and summer school to strengthen the relationships among students, teachers, family members, and the community.
Eligibility for the program is established through an interview conducted by a Migrant Education recruiter who visits both home and word locations. To get more information about the program, you can visit your local school or call the Migrant Education Office (Part of the California Department of Education) at 916-319-0851. If you have access to a computer and internet, more information about the program and services and other important phone numbers can be found at cde.ca.gov.
Importance of school attendance for student success
One of the most important things your child can do in order to succeed in school is also one of the most basic: going to school every day. When you make school attendance a priority, you are sending a message to your child that education is very important for your family and that it is important to take your responsibilities seriously including going to school. quizzes and tests on time. There are other benefits as well:
- Exposure to the English language:
Regular school attendance can also help kids who are learning English.
- Being part of a community: Just by being present at school, your child is learning how to be a good citizen by participating in the school community and learning valuable social skills.
As a parent or guardian, it is possible to plan ahead in order to limit your child’s absences, and make school attendance a priority. Here are some ways to do this:
- Follow the school’s guidelines and attendance policy, and report excused absences immediately. At the beginning of the school year, sit down with your child and review the school’s rules to make sure you understand who you need to contact if your child is going to be absent.
- Try to limit the amount of time that your child misses school due to medical appointments or illness. If possible, avoid scheduling doctor’s appointments during the school day. Allow your child to stay home only in the case of contagious or severe illnesses.
- Keep updated on school events and announcements. Read the school documents that your child brings
home and take note of important announcements and dates, such as back-to-school night and parent-teacher conferences.
Homework is important too
Homework is not assigned just to keep children busy at home. Homework provides an opportunity for children to develop self-discipline, study habits, and time management skills. Homework is a bridge between school and home. Learning should happen at home as well as in school.
Parents can help kids succeed at homework. Setting aside a specific time every day can make homework part of a child’s daily routine. Find a quiet and distraction-free area that your child can use when doing homework. Review homework assignments with children and provide support and guidance if possible. Parents who do not know a subject well or for whom English is a second language may be afraid to help, but even if you are not comfortable with some subjects, you can show interest and applaud your child’s efforts. If assignments are unclear, communicate with the teacher and ask questions. Most importantly, parents should provide encouragement to their children. Demonstrate to children how important homework is by taking an interest in it.