“Successful parents realize that children grow up not when they can take care of themselves but when they can take care of others and want to.”
-James Stenson The Heights School Principal and Author
Parents want their child to be good, happy, and successful. They provide their child with nourishment, clothing, and shelter; affection and values; and a good education. Cognizant of their role as primary educators, parents enrol their young in a school that shares the same philosophy they adhere to, and which they deem best to hone their children’s learning and skills.
The deliberate effort of parents as well as teachers to realize what is best for the child calls for a collaboration between the home and the school.
Home-school collaboration is the mark of all PAREF schools. Both family and school communicate and work together for the effective and well-rounded education of the child.
Home-school Collaboration, the PAREF way is carried out through different means.
Personal Formation of Parents
St. Josemaria Escriva said: “Parents first, teachers second, students last. With the first two sectors properly attended to, the formation of children will come as a natural consequence.”
Parental example is effective and efficacious in shaping the child’s character. Guidance and assistance extended by a peer coach, co-parent, or the Chaplain contribute to the parents’ personal growth which redounds to a healthy relationship with one’s spouse and children, and well-being of members of the family. This is reinforced by Rafael Pich, a father of sixteen, when he said “A strong family life is the solution to all society’s problems.”
Founded on home-school collaboration, fathers and mothers are invited to parent seminars as well as spiritual activities like classes on the Catholic faith and ethical issues, recollections, and retreats. The doctrinal and spiritual formation is entrusted to the Prelature of Opus Dei, which was founded by St. Josemaria Escriva.
New Parents Education Program (NPEP) is a parenting program designed for all parents new to the PAREF system. Conducted by EDUCHILD Foundation one Saturday a month, the program consists of case studies on topics of parenting. The case studies and discussion have brought delight to many parents.
The strongest tool for personal formation of the student in the PAREF schools is mentoring. Each student is assigned to a mentor, a school personnel, who chats with and guides the student-mentee personally in achieving academic and character excellence. The mentor also holds sessions with the mentee’s parents.
The regular communication between the mentor and he mentee, and the mentor and his/her mentee’s parents, paves the way for greater knowledge of the potentials and accomplishments, as well as understanding of the temperament and behaviour of the student. In a climate of friendship, sincerity, and trust, the mentoring system facilitates the formulation of goals, strategies, and action plan for the child to grow in responsibility, maturity, love for God and others, and be the best he/she can be.
Each school holds bonding occasions such as father-son or mother-daughter activity, family day, and parents get-together. Parents encounter a venue to interact with their co-parents as well as the friends and classmates of their son or daughter. Ties of friendship grow among schoolmates and even among parents. Wholesome aspiration and Christian values spread not just among students but among families as well. Students develop respect for the parents and care especially for the younger siblings of their classmates or teammates.
In each and every PAREF school the parents, as school partners, have the opportunity to participate optimally in the education of their child. Some parents accept the invitation to be Parent Coordinators who organize certain parent bonding activities and ensure attendance at parenting seminars. Others volunteer to head projects like family outreach, fundraising, and the marketing council. This unique PAREF feature creates an atmosphere of families helping families, families helping the school, and school helping families.
Home-school collaboration has ignited the interest of parents in PAREF, has kept them contented, and has spurred them to spread the fire.