Involvement and interaction with the kids is highly important when it comes to having a student club, but one thing that we discovered during our project is that it is important to get the parents involved as well. The parents can not only help you with different projects during your club time, but one of the critical components to the kid's getting their license is, they need to study for the test when they are not at club time. If a parent is involved with this process, they can help with the kids while at home away from club time, trying to keep them on task. We lost several weeks our first year taking up club time studying. In fact, we lost several kids as well since almost 10 weeks was dedicated to nothing but going over the material in preparation for the test, instead of working on hand-on projects.
It is hard for the kids to understand, that not only did we have a club, there was some studying they had to do in order to retain the information that is on the exam. We attempted to include more hands on activities with each of the lessons in order to make it more interesting and in hopes that they would retain the information. When it came time to review for the exam, we realized, there was no studying going on outside of the club time.
Those students who passed the Technician exam and obtained their license, studied outside of club time and the younger kids had their parents help them as well. The content that is on the amateur radio license exam is not difficult; however, it does require some understanding and knowledge of the material. If it was a simple test, anyone could just sit down and take it.
Some suggestions for parent involvement
- Get the contact information from the parents at the start of the year. Ask them personally the best way to be in contact with them, how can you get the information to them directly. Don't rely on sending information with the kids.
- Send home, email, or distribute a weekly parent newsletter. - Whatever way you know for sure the parents are getting the information is the better route. In this newsletter you can keep them informed what is going on with the club and what is coming up on the horizon.
- Invite parents to join the club at club meetings. There is no reason why parents cannot come and have some fun as well. Just make sure you check with your school’s administration in order to make sure you follow all of the guidelines. Our school requires that anyone who attends our club has the same qualifications as parent volunteers.
- When you are prepping for the test, encourage parents to test as well. Current the cost to take the amateur radio license test is only $15. If you are going through the training, why not extend that out to the parents as well. This way, the kids and the parents can study together at thome.
- Consider making a parent booster, or extension of you student club. We create a “Friends of” section of our club. This way, parents or even graduating seniors, can still be involved with the club if they are no longer a student. The only thing we did was, the “Friends of” members are not voting members of the club.
Whatever ideas you can come up with to encourage the involvement of the parents is obviously a good one. As you go through the creation of your club, keep this tip in mind. How are you going to keep the communications with the parents going throughout the year? How are you going to get the parents involved and supporting the club? And what can you do to get parent to help with the students studying for the exam at home and outside of club time?
If you have more ideas or suggestions, please click the link below and add them to our forum page.