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Parents’ Involvement In Schools Is Critical

One way to help your child to succeed in school may be to drop by for a visit.

A little involvement can go a long way, say experts at National Parent Teacher Association (PTA). You don’t have to spend hours at school each week. Even a monthly visit can make a difference.

When parents get involved:

� Students have better attendance records.

� Students achieve higher test scores and grades.

� Students have higher graduation rates and are more likely to pursue higher education.

� Students build stronger relationships with parents.

According to National PTA, only one in four parents are actively involved in their children’s education. For working parents, that number drops to only one in nine.

“When parents take an active role in their children’s education, it has a very positive effect,” reports Warlene Gary, CEO of National PTA. “Parents need to stay involved from kindergarten through high school to assure that their children get the kind of education that will help them succeed.”

National PTA and The Advertising Council have launched a campaign encouraging parent involvement in schools. Through various forms of media, the campaign encourages parents to join PTA and offers a Web site to connect parents with simple tips and ideas to get involved in their children’s school and education.

Here are a few ways to get started:

� Talk to your child’s teacher. Let her know all about your child’s interests and ask how you can support learning at home.

� Plan a lunch date with your children in the school cafeteria.

� Attend parent-teacher conferences.

� Join the PTA.

� Go to school events such as back-to-school night.

� Keep current on school policies, schedules and rules.

� Attend school board meetings.

� Check your school’s Web site.

� Talk to your child’s school counselor if you have any concerns or questions.…

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Marriage and Family Tips: Financial Involvement on Both Sides

In wedlock, there is usually one person who is responsible for managing the finances of the family: paying bills, savings accounts, budgeting, etc. Often, the other spouse even does not know very much about the financial state of their family. As long as he or she can shop as usual, there would seem to be no problem. However, this approach can backfire especially if some problems arise in the family’s finances. Blaming the problems on one party would not be fair. For better money management and family bonding, involvement of both the husband and wife is important. Here are some tips you can do to get your spouse involved in your family’s money management.
1. Hold regular financial meetings – Discuss your spending and saving activities with your spouse regularly. Once a week is an ideal periodic schedule. During the meeting, you both will review the budget, consider new purchases, expenditures and income, and adjust them to suit the balance report.
2. Decide the budget together – Once a month, it is important to agree on the family’s budget together. Generally, a family will have a fixed budget that is more or less the same every month. However, you or your spouse may have certain unusual needs he or she would like to plan to do in the next month. Taking input from both sides in this case is central for making financial decisions for your family.
3. Take turns in paying bills – If previously your husband or wife is the only one who handles the bill paying, sharing the responsibility is very beneficial. You can do it by taking turns paying the bills once in a month (e.g. you pay the bills this month, your spouse does then the next month) or you can delegate your spouse to pay some of the bills while you do the others, thus splitting the task.
4. Let your spouse manage some area of the budget – Although working together, one spouse will still be a “leader” in the family’s management. This means that he or she will have a larger responsibility in managing the budget. Sharing the burden won’t hurt at all. Let your spouse entirely manage one or more of the budget categories.
5. Be transparent in using financial software – Often, a husband or a wife use specific software to record the family’s financial records such as savings, spending, and budgeting. Sharing the password will permit the other spouse to log into the account and the resulting transparency is significant. Not only can he or she learn about the family’s financials, he or she can also determine the budget for the family.…