Parents in the Oklahoma City Schools face similar challenge to parents around the nation. Preparing children for high stakes testing, trying to balance home and work, and preparing students for independence in a global economy are not small tasks for parents or teachers. What the children of Oklahoma City Schools have in their favor is a local community that is unusually supportive of public education. In 2001 residents voted in an historic bond initiate that used future taxes to provide new and renovated school buildings for all Oklahoma City Schools. Such a wide margin of public support is sadly unusual.
But give the community involvement the parents of Oklahoma City Public Schools really seem interested in what they can do to give their own children, and local schools, the best chance possible. As a former teacher and parent of school-age learners, here’s my advice on the three critical steps parents can take for their children’s success.
- Read Together
Reading is the single most important skill for students in the Oklahoma City Schools. Until the third grade your child is learning how to read. But after that, he or she will be reading to learn. In essence, the success in every other subject depends on the ability to read. Yes- it is that important that you and your child set aside 15 minutes a day for reading. It doesn’t matter who does the reading, it matters that it happens.
The Oklahoma City Schools have a great library system. If you’re not a reader by nature ask the librarian at your Oklahoma City Schools’ librarian for family read-aloud recommendations. There are books that you will enjoy reading to your child. And hey- turn off the TV on school days. Is it more important that you child is successful in school or that she learns the critiquing techniques of Simon Cowell?
2. Keep Showing Up
The Oklahoma City Schools are generally very encouraging of parents and others who want to volunteer in the schools. The biggest challenge for parents is usually finding the time. But again, a large measure of your child’s success in the Oklahoma City Schools will be your amount of involvement. This may take some creativity if you work a job or two outside the home, or are a single parent. Some Oklahoma City Schools have elementary packets that they send home with parents to help assemble, cut, or color. The key is to let your children know what you’re doing, and to deliver it to the teacher so you have more face to face time. Or just stop by and have lunch with your child.
3. Support Your Child’s Teacher
The teachers of Oklahoma City Schools need parental support. Involvement, encouragement, volunteers, and backup with getting homework done….Your child’s age will factor into the ways you can support the teachers and Oklahoma City Schools. But the end result is the same. It will help your child to succeed.