The age old adage that time passes more quickly the older you get is more true everyday. Just look at the fact that we send our children back to school in less than a week; somehow the summer has passed us by.
As we pack the lunch boxes, fill out the never-ending paperwork that is simply a repeat of the last 10 years and ship the kids out each morning to the bus stop, let us remember that these human beings we are depositing on the doorstep of the school buildings are still our children. We must be involved in their lives, especially with what goes on inside the school building.
Staying active, involved and part of the routine was somewhat easier as the children were in elementary school. Teachers are always looking for helpers, volunteers and appreciate all the hands they can get. More importantly, the children still love their parents and want them to come to school, to meet their friends, to be involved.
Then comes middle school! Independence has arrived and embarrassment reigns supreme when parents are anywhere near. Teachers have entirely too many students and don't have the ability to keep in personal contact with each parent. The changing of classes throughout the day leaves little time for fun activities, no recess and very few field trips. The parent's role within the school building is diminished.
Then comes high school where that role is phased out even more. Parents are good for rides to events, sports, friends' homes. That is, until the driver's license comes and then parents are completely out.
We at the Chronicle challenge all parents to stay involved. Don't be convinced by a child that you don't need to know what's going on at school or with friends.
There is no magic age (despite some legal notion that at 18 humans just know everything) that one's child no longer needs the support and guidance of a parent. Especially in the world in which we live today, parental guidance is more important than ever.
Learn what is being taught in the schools. Take time to look at the textbooks that are selected. I believe some would be surprised how history has changed, how the school system sees its role in shaping the thinking of our youth (where perhaps it should not), talk to the teachers about what is going on in the classroom. Follow your child's progress to make sure that it goes as it should. When a teacher with too many students and not enough time finally makes a parent aware their student is having trouble, it may be too late. This is especially true of the older grades. Teachers see the responsibility falling on the student to be the communicator which often does not happen.
Don't lose interest in your child simply because they are older or simply because they say they don't need you to be involved. It is at that point they probably do need you to be involved!