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3 Tips for Effective Home-School Communication

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I have 3 tips for effective home-school communication to share with you today. I have been on both ends as a teacher and now as a parent with a child in school. Home-school communication is vital! Parents want to know what is happening in their children’s classrooms and their learning. School is where students spend most of the day and giving parents that connection will help your classroom run smoother.

Tip #1: Establish Contact Early in the Year

Tip #1 Establish Contact Early in the year shows parents meeting with a teacher in the classroom

The first tip for effective home-school communication is to establish contact with your school families as early as you can. Many early elementary teachers send out a letter or email to their incoming classes and families introducing themselves over the summer after class assignments have been sent out. My son is currently in first grade and in kindergarten, he received a letter in the mail from his teacher which he loved. For first grade, his teacher sent out an email where she introduced herself, gave some important information, and welcomed the students. As a parent, I really appreciated these teachers taking the extra time to reach out, especially with my child being so anxious about school. It helped to alleviate some of his fears.

I taught fourth grade, so I did not send home letters but I did make sure to make contact early on in the year with a phone call or email to parents. It was always quick and about something positive their child did. It was easy to do and it made a big impact. I developed a rapport with parents and opened the lines of communication.

Tip #2: Use Technology (Especially that is available through your school)

Tip #2: Use technology a teacher is sitting at a computer with headphones on.  He is smiling and giving the screen a thumbs up

The next tip for effective home-school communication is to use technology. Many schools, especially now, do most things online. Parents can log in and check their child’s grades, access textbooks online, and more. My daughter’s preschool and son’s kindergarten teacher use the Remind app. It’s a handy way to get notices and pictures straight to your phone. I can even send the teacher a message through the app.

As a teacher, I had to submit to our school’s weekly newsletter. I wrote about what we were learning, upcoming projects, news in the classroom, and important information. The newsletter was sent to all parents via paper and electronically posted to the school website. My son’s school does the same thing. As a parent, I appreciate this news all in one place.

Unfortunately, the pandemic brought about distance learning, but a positive that came from it was the more widespread use of Google Classroom. Google Classroom is a great way to communicate with parents, especially with younger students. I have access to my son’s GC and his teacher posts updates and assignments there.

If you’re feeling inspired you could make a class website. On your classroom website, you could post links to your online textbooks, important information, homework, etc. This is helpful for upper-elementary grades. It is a hub for students and parents.

Tip #3: Establish Routines

Tip #3: Establish Routines A teacher is meeting at a table with her students while they work

The third tip for effective home-school communication is to establish routines. Will you check your email after school? What hours can parents expect a response from you? Establish set office hours for yourself and stick to them. I also found it helpful to send home graded work on a certain day a week. Parents knew to expect the graded work that day and looked for it. To set up this routine I used “Friday Folders” which can be used on any day of the week. The folder is sent home weekly and contains all graded work. My version includes a sheet the students record their grades onto that parent’s sign and a reflection form for the week.

Friday folders are a great tool for home-school communication

To purchase the Parent Communication Folders click here to be taken to TPT.

Another helpful tool to foster effective home-school communication is this parent communication log. The students will fill out the template for what they are learning each week in their own words in the middle column. In the final column will be upcoming tests, quizzes, projects, or important information. This is a great tool for parents who ask what did you learn in school today and their kids respond “nothing.”

Image shows a filled out parent communication log

Grab the Parent Communication Log here.

If you’re looking for resources on setting up the best parent-teacher conferences check out this blog post!

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    My name is Jen and I’m the face behind Endeavors in Education.

    I have a passion for ELA and science. I am even STEM certified. Now I spend my time hanging with my kids, blogging (endeavorsined.com), and creating for my TpT store Endeavors in Education.

    I’m so happy you’ve joined me on this journey!

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