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Family Matters

Family is the anchor of a child’s life. It is the launch pad to living peaceably and successfully in society. Schools that prioritize their partnership with parents not only benefit from increased involvement and support, but they become a powerful force of good, as they extend learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

Learning is not confined to formal education. In fact, the majority of living and learning takes place outside of school. The prerequisites for learning — educability, motives, values and attitudes bloom first from home. Parents are the first teachers to instill problem solving skills, social skills, communication skills, as well as critical and creative thinking. Education is built on a parent’s foundation, and it develops as children learn how to learn, and acquire self-directed and self-learning skills. Learners, no matter their age or level of education, thrive in an environment that stimulates and empowers individuals to acquire knowledge, values, skills and understanding. Since the beginning of time, the family has been the first, and foremost school.

All parents, regardless of income, education or cultural background, are involved in their children’s learning and want them to do well. In contemporary America, however pressures on the family have created a fragile ecosystem in the home. Two working parents, divorce, single parent homes, decline in religious training, language barriers, cultural displacement, generational poverty and illiteracy are contributing factors. As a result, more than any other time in history, parents are abdicating responsibility for their children’s education, entrusting it to public schools, and increasingly relegating other tutelage like moral training, life skills, and college and career readiness. In two working parent households, families also lean on school for childcare and before-after school programs. These additional duties, once the exclusive domain of families is a hefty responsibility for the public education system.

The complexities of a student’s psychological, economic and cultural realities are therefore woven into an educator’s daily challenges. With that, teachers must be concerned for the whole child. The dynamics of family and the environment at home are an essential and critical factor in an educator’s ability to lead and succeed with their students.

Educational development is a collaborative enterprise that begins first with family. If students are to be given the best possible opportunity to learn, schools must prioritize their partnership with parents.


Written By Cynthia Mitchell

Cynthia Mitchell is CEO, West Digital Boulevard, a technology company. She is also an Executive Coach and Consultant to start-ups. Passionate about education, Cynthia is a 21 year Homeschool Parent, Publisher of Family Literacy Journal, a Speech and Debate Judge, a Business and Education Motivational Speaker and a Parent Advocate. Cynthia can be reached for consulting services and speaking engagements at cynthia.startsmart@gmail.com

One Response to “Family Matters”
  1. Nyanna says:

    Your thkniing matches mine – great minds think alike!

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