Single Parents' Preferences and Expectations for Home-School Communication
Maharry, Frederick Craig
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This study focuses on single parents' preferences and expectations for home-school communication in public schools. Home-school communication has received considerable attention from educators and parents in recent years. Many see this communication as a vital link in establishing partnerships between educators and parents.Parents are the first teachers for most children and want the best for them. Parents have considerable influence on their children throughout the time they are in school. Studies show that parents want to know what is going on in school, how they can be a part of the school, and how they can assist their child at home. Parents prefer communication that is timely,understandable, and informal.Unfortunately, however, communication from the school to home does not always meet these needs. Some parents believe that they are working in partnership with the schools. Single parents often believe they are left out of this partnership because of lack of time, economics, and other issues which make it difficult for them to communicate with educators. Educators cannot ignore these issues because the numbers of single parents and of students from single-parent homes have risen dramatically in the last two decades. Students from single-parent families now comprise almost one-third of all students. I conducted this study in several school districts inWestern Iowa. Interviews were used to determine single rents' preferences and expectations for home-school communication. Many of these communications were initiated by the school. Some, however, were initiated by single parents. These contacts were also explored. Single parents had ample opportunities to share insights. The goal of the researcher was to look for themes and patterns in the lives at these parents, especially as th related to the school. This study was done to gain a better understanding of situations facing single parents and their expectations regarding communication with schools. Several findings emerged from the research. One result is that educators should explore new means of communication with single-parent homes instead of assuming that present means are acceptable. Staff development is needed in order to accomplish this goal. I hope a result will be that students from single-parent homes will demonstrate higher levels of achievement.
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