This is a sponsored post in collaboration with LivingTree. All opinions are my own.
One of the biggest indicators of success in school has very little to do with test scores or even how your child learns. It has to do with the quality of communication between parents and teachers. Recent research published in Educational Psychology has found that when parents are engaged in their children’s academic life that children are more likely to succeed, not just academically but it improves behavior outcomes as well.
According to research compiled by Education.com here are some more benefits for children and teachers:
- Higher self-esteem and academic motivation.
- Better grades, test scores, and attendance.
- Cultural gaps for children from diverse backgrounds are better filled when there is a strong home-school communication.
- Greater understanding of families and issues facing their students.
- Higher rates of homework completion.
- Parents have a better understanding of the curriculum.
- Higher moral and job satisfaction.
So why aren’t more parents involved?
The problem is real life.
Real life is busy; we are over scheduled, have long commutes, are juggling multiple children’s schedules, and do any of us ever really leave work at work anymore? Even the most intentionally unbusy parent gets busy sometimes. Some parents don’t speak or read English and aren’t always able to rely on friends and family to translate. Emails are easy to miss and notices home often get lost on the school bus. Frankly, even with emails, it can be hard to keep it all straight even for parents like you and me who want to be involved.
This is why when LivingTree asked me to check out their secure application that allows parents, teachers, administrators and even districts communicate I agreed. This is a wonderful resource that is not only useful, but it’s also accessible. There is a free app, but you don’t have to have a smartphone to be involved, you can use the free web based application as well.
I can not stress how often the issue of language barriers is brought up by teachers I have facilitated workshops for. It can be very tough for parents who are not native English speakers to feel connected or even welcome to be involved in their children’s school activities. LivingTree can translate the information into over 100 different languages, that right there is life changing for many teachers.
Beyond the language barriers the biggest advantage I see as a parent is the ability to sync all district information in one place. Next year my kids will be going to different schools, and I want both their info in one place with one calendar, and right now the only way I can do that is to put it there myself, but like the many parents I talked about earlier, I am so busy that just never gets done.
It’s not just for schools though so if you are a homeschooling parent you can use it as well, you can make your own secure network to communicate with your family or your homeschooling group. Or if you just want a secure network for your family and friends you can create that as well.
As a teacher, I know first hand how involved families enrich the school experience when there is continuity from school to home and back children benefit. It is rare that I agree to review a product but I felt unable not to share this, it has such potential to help parents become engaged which helps teachers teach and children learn.