Helping Parents Help Their Children

Public schools are having an increasingly difficult time depending on a working relationship with the parents of students in their charge. Learning opportunities that used to be exploited at home are often wasted as parents rely on teachers and administrators to handle all of their children’s education.

This makes teachers’ jobs exponentially harder, and is a disservice to children.

Of course, West Virginia is not the only place in which the process of raising and educating children has fallen less and less to responsible parents. We live in a world where 32-year-old Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is referred to as a “kid” by indulgent authorities brushing off behavior for which he should have faced criminal consequences.

But the Mountain State is working to give parents and guardians better resources that might change that. With help from Toyota, which has invested a total of $135,000 in the project, The Education Alliance, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and the United Way, Born Learning Academies — for the families of pre-kindergarten children — will be available free of charge in Hancock, Boone, Lincoln, Kanawha, Putnam, Marion, Raleigh, Mason, Preston, Cabell and Wayne counties.

If the program works in those places, it could expand to other counties.

For those parents who wish very much they were doing more for their kids, the academies will teach them how to use daily moments as learning opportunities, over six monthly workshops. Even if only a few families in each county build a better understanding of the responsibility parents have for their children’s academic success, the investment will be worthwhile.

But surely many more will take advantage of this chance to learn how to do more for their kids than, perhaps, was done for them. If they do, the academies should be the start of better relationships between parents and schools, and a better learning experience for kids.