Our Partnership With Parents
The Bridge Between Home and School
One of the first and fundamental lessons in Nature is that the plant grows from the root, and it is the root which supports and provides the conduit for nourishment. The natural root of the child’s development is the family guided by the parent, from whom the child grows outward, but who throughout the child’s life supports and provides for nourishing development.
So also Montessori education, which has at its center the child, begins and grows outward from the family. Montessori’s great interest in prenatal life and postnatal development shows her deep regard for the family and its foremost role in the education of the child.
From the home comes the basic instincts of love, caring, nurturing, empathy, appreciation, service, and cooperation. The parents are nurturing the human potential of the baby to love, trust and to bind itself to human partnerships in a lifetime of relationships. These are the fundamental values that start in the home and are reinforced in the Montessori school.
The school and the home join as the psychic environment that aids children in their development. There is a partnership between the child and the family in the collaborative effort that guides the child to be motivated by the wonder of life and the satisfaction of self improvement.
Montessori education is an aid to a process that is dictated by nature and performed for the most part by the parent. From this ideal comes the concept of partnership in education. The school is separate and the home is separate, but they are both in the service of the child. Education becomes a joint partnership in which the child forms the center and the school and family form the nurturing outer circle.
It is sensible that if we seek the whole development of the child then school and parents must be partners in a consistent approach in aiding the children in their development. The closer the school and home come to this mutual aid for the child, the more effective the educational process. For those whose intuition tells them this is true there is also substantial research which validates the benefits of partnership in education.
There are two major benefits are associated with parents’ active involvement in education of their children. First, there is a positive relationship between parent participation in school activities and student achievement. The extent of parent involvement is directly related to academic gains. More specifically, through parent participation in school activities parents gain knowledge and skills that enable them to help their children to learn at home.
Second, parent involvement is significantly related to satisfaction with instructional programs. Participation increases parent knowledge of the educational program and creates support for it. The sensibility that parents who participate in school activities become more at ease with the school setting, and are better able to communicate with teachers and administrators about instructional issues. This reduces parent’s misunderstanding about and distrust of school programs. The presence of parents in the school conveys a strong message to the children about their value for education.