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.
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.
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