Parent power: learning with the whole family

​Every day in the car, Julie Donnison plays spelling and times tables games with her granddaughter after picking her up from school. The daily activity brings them closer together and helps her granddaughter to learn in a fun way.

Parents Victoria forum attendees

Earlier this year, Julie along with 30 others parents attended Parents Victoria's forum to discuss the role of parents in literary and numeracy.

The forum was an opportunity to talk openly about topics important to them.

Many parents said they are often so busy doing multiple activities with their kids that it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture in education.

'Any way families support their children with their learning, attendance, and engagement makes a huge, positive impact on the whole school experience,' says Gail McHardy from Parents Victoria.

'Successful engagement starts with respectful and effective communication.'

Colleen Coath also attended the forum with her colleagues from the Parents and Friends Association (PFA) for Meadows Primary School. She said she found it to be informative and a chance to meet other parents and share stories.

One of the ways Meadows Primary School enga​ges with parents is by holding the Maths Expo. It's an opportunity for kids to show their work and play maths games with their parents and families.

'We all want the best for our kids and to succeed in life,' Colleen says.

'School and home provide the skills they need to achieve their goals.'

Parents lead the future of education

Parents and carers said they supported developing further supports and resources for schools and independently by families. They provided suggestion on resources parents and carers would want and use.

Importantly, the message was clear parents and carers can be partners in learning and education when it comes to literacy and numeracy. 

'Sharing ideas and unpacking common concerns with Department representatives was greatly valued and gave parent participants an opportunity for a discussion,' Gail says.

Parents Victoria looks forward to continuing the conversation on family engagement at their upcoming two-day conference.

Literacy and numeracy strategy

Strong literacy and numeracy outcomes for all children and young people are a key part of the Education State targets.

Phase 2 of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy was released this year, focusing on providing resources and professional learning to teachers, improving literacy and numeracy for primary and secondary students.

Research shows that families are the most significant influence on their children's learning, development, health, safety and wellbeing. Family can play a key role in helping a child prepare for school, and then succeed when they reach school.

Through everyday activities at home parents can also help them develop their numeracy skills, such as calculating and using numbers, recognising patterns, and using language to develop mathematical understanding.

A guide for parents of children aged 0-12 is available in  Literacy and numeracy tips to help your child every day.

Parents Victoria 2018 Conference: Shedding light on family engagement

Parents Victoria provides practical help for school leaders to work with families and create great outcomes together.

The organisation is hosting a two-day conference on family engagement. A key focus is building better relationships with families to improve outcomes for students and the school.


  • 20 and 21 August 2018
  • Pullman Melbourne on the Park

Further information see: Shedding light on engaging families - Parents Victoria

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