Family Involvement in students’ lives and learning is a truly enriching experience. Educators involve families through volunteering, learning at home extensions, decision making and communicating. However, there are many barriers that prevent families from involvement in their child’s education and learning. The most common barrier is a family’s structure and schedule. Work schedules are a majoring conflicting issue with family involvement, this causes families to not be able to make student conferences, or help with learning activities at home. Also, the family structure at home can also influence student involvement. Some children are being raised my grandparents who do not know how to help their grandchildren with their homework, some have very young parents, even teenage mothers who do not have the education and knowledge of what their child needs, others have older parents who are new to the current ideas in education. All of these structures can act as a barrier to family involvement. Another barrier includes families being unsure of what to become involved in. Most often, families and parents what to be a part of their children’s education, they just don’t know what to do or how to be involved. In result, families end up not becoming involved. A third barrier to family involvement is that families feel they are intruding and interrupting programs and also that their help has little importance. Families sometimes believe that by becoming involved they are disrupting the education. They also feel that their involvement has little effect anyway. Families sometimes view themselves as only being wanted for fundraising. Based on these barriers, it is essential that teachers reach out to parents in letting them know that they are important in their children’s education. They do matter and make a difference. They have opportunities to get involved. They are not disrupting learning that are enhancing it! Families need to feel welcomed and family involvement needs to be a reciprocal relationship between the teacher and families. Teachers can use surveys, webpages, letters, home visits, and conferences to communicate with families. Families also need opportunities to get involved which can include: hosting family education programs, volunteering opportunities, and at home extension activities. In involving families, teachers and families can work together to provide a truly enriching experience where students can learn and grow.
a teacher who cares