The research is clear: students perform better in school when their parents are actively involved in their education.
"Teachers help students soar and make their hopes and dreams into reality," said Rag Weaver, president of the National Education Association. "And when parents are involved in the education of their children, they will go further - and they attend a better school."
NEA, which represents 2.8 million teachers, education support professionals and other educators, offers five easy ways for parents to get more involved in education throughout the year:
1. Check with teachers on a regular basis. Proactive and not wait for a problem or a challenge to appear before taking action.
2. Get to know the guidance counselors and other school employees. Education support professionals generally know all the students at school, and their relationship with your children will continue as they move from one class to the next.
3. Attend school activities. Open houses, parent-teacher conferences, dances or other school activities provide a good opportunity for parents to connect with teachers and school employees.
4. Volunteer at school. Make time in your schedule to help out with the school play, acting as a classroom helper or guardian of a field trip.
5. Keep the lines of communication open. Whether they are your children's classmates, friends or neighbors, get to know other people - especially parents who have children attending the same school. Forming support groups to work on problems and issues of mutual interest.
"The house is an extension of the learning that takes place in the classroom," said Weaver. "When parents get involved in their children's education, everyone wins."