Tips to help parents support their children's success in school

Listening to teachers always lends to learning interesting ideas and viewpoints going on in today's classrooms. We just heard from more than 20,000 teachers on a number of topics including how parents can support their children in school thanks to Primary Sources: America's Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, the latest edition of our research report series with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

When we asked teachers what activities and strategies are the most helpful for parents to engage in to support their child in school, teachers showed a true understanding that parents have their hands full and they can't be experts in every subject. The items that rose to the top are simple but so important:

  • 98% of teachers say that making sure children miss as little school as possible is very or extremely helpful
  • 97% agree that collaboration between teachers and parents when the child has a challenge is helpful as well as setting high expectations at home about school
  • 96% told us that encouraging children to complete school assignments is helpful as is talking to their child about how he or she is doing in school

It is important to note that teachers make a distinction between encouraging children to complete assignments versus helping with homework. As one teacher said, "The most helpful parent I've collaborated with couldn't help with homework, but made sure the student was where he needed to be in order to get the help he needed. Her involvement made a difference in her child's life."

You can see more in the chart about each item as the list goes on to include the importance of access to books and school activities. There is even more to learn from the full report.

Parents, what has been your most helpful collaboration experience with your children's teachers?