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Family Letters in textbooks?

I proofread textbooks for a living. I'm working on an elementary school math book right now, but I've noticed in a lot of them, especially books for younger students, there are Family Letters or sometimes Letters to Parents included with each chapter. It's a growing trend, and I don't see anything wrong with it per se. But the letters seem mildly patronizing. Encouraging parents to urge their children to do the assigned homework, telling them to set up a specific time and a quiet place for study, stressing again and again that family help with education outside of school like at grocery stores and around the house makes the difference between success and mediocrity. Do the textbook authors think parents don't know these things, or is it the teachers who believe that? And if parents really don't know, will a letter from the child's teacher telling them what to do really be received and acted on?

Have any of you received these letters from your children's teachers? What has been your reaction?

I wasn't sure where to put this since "Back to School" doesn't exist anymore.

 
Ballad

Asked by Ballad at 2:55 PM on Jun. 16, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
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Answers (12)
  • I work at a Title I school and every Title I school has someone called a Parent Involvement Coordinator. I worked along side the PIC to help with parents becoming involved. Those letters are directed at the parents who don't know how they can help their child with their school work on a day to day basis as well as parents whose culture is different from ours where being involved in their child's education is a foreign concept to them. Part of my job was to hold events that would bring the parents into the school. I would hold academic events as well as just for fun events. One of my most successful events was for Valentine's Day. The parents could come in and make their child a Valentine's Day card. Many of the parents told me that they enjoyed it and would have never of thought to do something like this.

    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 3:42 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • It's not that textbook authors don't think parents know these things but too often there is not enough parent participation in their children's education, or excuses that they don't know what to do to help their children when really it's lazy parenting. There are similar "texts" in college textbooks as ways to improve studying etc.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 3:20 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • They do that a lot. I don't think it makes a difference. I chose to homeschool because I felt, no matter how they tried to claim they were doing the best they could, they weren't effectively teaching. The teachers aren't the problem - the problem is the idiots that keep cutting the funding, leaving the teachers with less and less to work with. So they have to rely more and more on parents to do more of the teaching.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 3:21 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • Do the textbook authors think parents don't know these things,

    As someone who works with HS students I can say many parents either don't know or don't care... sigh...
    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 6:12 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • Well it's understandable if the kids using them have parents like at my oldest son's school....so few parents help their kids with homework or participate in ANY way.

    Last year his kindergarten teacher said he had kids who never completed hw...& it was K, so there wasn't even much!

    I guess textbook writers are at least trying to address the issue.

































    l
    BubbaLuva

    Answer by BubbaLuva at 6:32 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • The problem is the lack of parental participation. Education begins at home, and it shouldn't be on the shoulders of the teachers to make sure the students are doing their homework. When I was in school, my parents made sure it was done and there were consequences to me not doing it. A lot of parents today seem to put the sole burden of everything on the teachers, and students are struggling because of parents who just don't care enough. Meanwhile, there are plenty of parents out there who seem flabbergasted when little Johnny fails math, and blame the teacher.
    Ginger0104

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 6:43 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • Sadly there are a lot of parents who DON'T know these things.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 7:28 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • A lot of parents today seem to put the sole burden of everything on the teachers, and students are struggling because of parents who just don't care enough. Meanwhile, there are plenty of parents out there who seem flabbergasted when little Johnny fails math, and blame the teacher.
    Answer by Ginger0104 3 hours ago

    ^^^ Yeah & those are the same parents who don't show up for open house or parent/teacher meetings, until it becomes mandatory b/c the child has slipped so far behind. :(
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 10:14 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • It's odd to us because when we went to school the Teachers taught the kids everything. Now the Parents have to through all the increased Home Work. The problem is that kids today aren't any smarter than we were. Hmmm???
    ILovemyPaulie

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 3:12 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

  • I've never received anything like that except a phone message the night before standardized testing reminding me to make sure they got a good night's sleep. Because usually I hype them up on caffeine and sugar and let them run around until midnight!
    I can't imagine parents don't know these things, it's common sense - but then I grew up with great role models.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 4:41 PM on Jun. 16, 2013

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