The University-Model® is perhaps more reliant on parents than anything else in the education of children. Because the UM returns the gift of time to families, parents have the opportunity and the means to powerfully influence their children’s academic, moral, and spiritual success.
Academic Program Parent Roles
The UM helps parents to succeed in their Biblically mandated roles (Deuteronomy 6:6-7) as the primary guardians of their children's education. In the UM school, these roles change as the student moves through the various grade levels.
The primary role for parents with children in elementary (grammar) University-Model® courses is Assistant Teacher. Parents will receive instructions from the classroom teacher about various tasks such as outlining homework assignments, reviewing previously covered material, or preparing the child for the next class. Parents also have the main responsibility for direct instruction in some aspects of the course (such as spelling, reading, multiplication tables) and for monitoring their child’s academic progress including the timely submission of all assignments. The parent is charged with reinforcing, reviewing, and repeating key academic material and skills that the classroom teacher has initiated with the students at the school.
The primary role for parents with junior high (logic) students is Supervisor. Since, at this level, more responsibility is placed on the student, parents have limited and fewer academic tasks assigned to them. Sometimes the parent will function more as a Course Monitor whose main task is to track the progress of the student and to be alert to any problems. At other times, the parent may function as a Project Assistant where more hands-on help is required in support of a particular project. Drama courses, for example, might involve extra help for student costuming, making puppets, working on sets, and so forth. In whatever role, however, the parents’ supervisory presence and watchful eyes are integral to the student’s success.
The primary role for parents with students in high school (rhetoric) courses is Mentor. At this stage, parents reduce but do not eliminate their roles as academic teachers and supervisors as they become more responsible for the child’s moral and spiritual training. The University-Model® positions parents with the time, opportunities, and tools they need to mentor their sons and daughters spiritually, academically, morally, and socially during those critical, final years of high school.
Academic Program Parent Responsibilities
Parents must be consistently involved in their child’s education. In general, parents should:
- Be familiar with course syllabi and assignment sheets for all courses.
- Make sure their child works diligently on assignments whenever the child is outside the central classroom.
- Monitor their child’s progress, including the timely completion of satellite assignments.
- Take responsibility for instruction at home as directed by the classroom teacher.
- Discuss with their child matters of belief, morality, and values as they arise in course readings and assignments.
- Monitor their child’s completion of all reading assignments to ensure they are appropriately paced and completed on schedule.
- Assist their child in organizing his/her thoughts concerning more sophisticated analytical and critical essays.
- Provide an audience for their child to practice speeches or presentations.
- Assist their child in gathering research and study materials from local libraries.
- Assist their child in locating scripture references for discussions, tests, or projects.
- Assist their child by proofreading the child’s written work.