6 Tips for Increasing and Improving Parent Involvement

As we know, parent involvement is key to student learning. However, it can be tricky to build a good relationship with students’ families. Here are some helpful hints!

  1. Start on a positive note. As the Whitakers say in Your First Year, try making positive phone calls home about your students. If we wait until parents need to call us about a bad situation, it won’t start us off on the right foot. (But sometimes we do get those bad calls--see Dealing with Difficult Parents for guidance on how to tackle tricky conversations.)
  2. Get buy-in on your curriculum. Don’t rely on your students to be communicating what’s happening inside your classroom, or parents may not get the full picture (“What did you learn in school today?” “Nothing…”).Getting Parents on Board provides sample letters you can send home to explain what you’re teaching and why. Check out a sample letter from the book here
  3. Host family nights where parents and their children can do exciting, hands-on learning activities together. Check out our books Family Reading Night, Family Math Night, and Family Science Night for specific ideas.
  4. Encourage literacy activities at home. Empowering Families has tons of tips and strategies for helping parents promote reading beyond school doors.
  5. Let parents see that you want to get to know their children. For example, early in the year, you could send home a questionnaire asking parents to tell you about their children’s interests (in addition to having students do their own questionnaires). Here's a great example, found in Passionate Learners by Pernille Ripp!
  6. Respect cultural differences. Students’ families may have different cultural views of education or different communication styles. Our books Engaging the Families of ELLs and Multicultural Partnerships: Involve All Familieswill help you improve relationships.

Routledge is proud to have a wide variety of books on parent involvement.

Get 20% off all our books with discount code B2S16, valid through November 15, 2016!

If you’re interested in buying any of these resources for your teachers, contact our sales rep Jessie Taylor for a bulk discount, Jessie.taylor@taylorandfrancis.com!

  • Family Math Night K-5

    Common Core State Standards in Action, 2nd Edition

    By Jennifer Taylor-Cox

    Host family math nights at your elementary school—starting today! Family math nights are a great way for teachers to get parents involved their children’s education and to promote math learning outside of the classroom. In this practical book, you’ll find step-by-step guidelines and activities to…

    Paperback – 2017-08-03 
    Routledge

  • Your First Year

    How to Survive and Thrive as a New Teacher

    By Todd Whitaker, Madeline Whitaker, Katherine Whitaker

    Learn all the essentials for making your first year of teaching a success! In this exciting new book, internationally renowned educator Todd Whitaker teams up with his daughters--Madeline, an elementary teacher, and Katherine, a secondary teacher--to share advice and inspiration. They offer…

    Paperback – 2016-05-02
    Routledge

  • Getting Parents on Board

    Partnering to Increase Math and Literacy Achievement, K–5

    By Alisa Hindin, Mary Mueller

    Learn how to work more effectively with K–5 parents to increase student achievement in math and literacy. Research shows that parent involvement in schools leads to higher test scores and more engaged and enthusiastic students, but it isn’t always easy for teachers to bridge the gap between the…

    Paperback – 2016-02-12
    Routledge

  • Dealing with Difficult Parents

    2nd Edition

    By Todd Whitaker, Douglas J. Fiore

    Communicating with parents is one of the most challenging and potentially stressful tasks that teachers face on a daily basis. Whether trying to resolve a heated argument or delivering bad news, it is essential to know how to handle difficult situations and establish positive relationships with…

    Paperback – 2015-11-06
    Routledge

  • Passionate Learners

    How to Engage and Empower Your Students, 2nd Edition

    By Pernille Ripp

    Would you want to be a student in your own classroom? In Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Empower Your Students, author Pernille Ripp challenges both novice and seasoned teachers to create a positive, interactive learning environment where students drive their own academic achievement. You’ll…

    Paperback – 2015-09-09
    Routledge

  • Empowering Families

    Practical Ways to Involve Parents in Boosting Literacy, Grades Pre-K–5

    By Judy Bradbury, Susan E. Busch

    The home–school connection is important to student literacy achievement. However, it can be time-consuming to develop and implement programming that keeps families engaged and involved. Empowering Families makes it easier to accomplish these goals! Chock-full of step-by-step plans for arranging a…

    Paperback – 2015-04-28
    Routledge

  • Family Reading Night

    2nd Edition

    By Darcy J. Hutchins, Joyce L. Epstein, Marsha D. Greenfeld

    Host family reading nights at your school! These events promote literacy outside of the classroom and encourage families to get involved in their children’s achievement. They also build relationships among educators, families, and community partners. This practical book is full of step-by-step…

    Paperback – 2014-09-26
    Routledge

  • Family Science Night

    Fun Tips, Activities, and Ideas

    By Shelley Connell

    At last! A practical, readable guide for teachers, school leaders, and parent/teacher associations that shows how to plan fun, hands-on science nights! Get easy-to-implement, content-rich tips and ideas that will cultivate positive attitudes toward science! Learn how to involve and actively engage…

    Paperback – 2012-08-27
    Routledge

  • Engaging the Families of ELLs

    Ideas, Resources, and Activities

    By Renee Rubin, John Sutterby, Michelle Abrego

    Learn how to involve the diverse families of English language learners with the effective, practical approaches in this book. This must-have resource for teachers and school leaders is packed with fresh ideas geared toward building a partnership between school communities and ELL families. The…

    Paperback – 2012-05-25
    Routledge

  • Multicultural Partnerships

    Involve All Families

    By Darcy J. Hutchins, Marsha D. Greenfeld, Joyce L. Epstein, Mavis G. Sanders, Claudia Galindo

    This is a must-have, research-based guide for all schools serving culturally diverse elementary and middle grade students and their communities. It's filled with fun, practical, highly effective strategies for raising awareness and engaging all families in their children's education — a sure path…

    Paperback – 2012-03-07
    Routledge

  • Family Math Night

    Middle School Math Standards in Action

    By Jennifer Taylor-Cox, Christine Oberdorf

    Why should your school have a Family Math Night? - Help students learn essential math concepts- Give parents a chance to serve as models of motivation, persistence and competence- Promote math success in a supportive setting With its step-by-step directions and suggestions for both teachers and…

    Paperback – 2006-06-21
    Routledge

  • Family Math Night

    Math Standards in Action

    By Jennifer Taylor-Cox

    Why should your school have a Family Math Night?- Help students learn essential math concepts- Give parents a chance to serve as models of motivation, persistence and competence- Promote math success in a supportive setting With its step-by-step directions and suggestions for both teachers and…

    Paperback – 2005-03-15
    Routledge