Why home visits?

Most public school students in Missouri spend only 13.9% of their year in school (174 days a year times seven hours a day), yet we hold teachers 100% responsible for students’ education. Teachers cannot educate their students alone – they must have academic support from their students’ homes for their students to succeed in school and in life. National education research overwhelmingly states that students do better academically and socially when parents provide academic enrichment at home from birth and when parents and teachers work together. One of the most effective ways to increase academic achievement at school is to increase academic achievement at home. It is critical that parents are reading and talking with their children daily, stressing the importance of education, and making sure their children go to school every day, all day. The lack of parent engagement is a key challenge facing schools and our students.

Are home visits effective?

Yes! Our annual evaluations show that students who receive home visits:

  • increased their scores on state tests for math and communication arts compared to students who did not receive home visits;
  • scored higher on STAR reading tests than students who did not receive visits;
  • in 3rd through 6th grade improved their math grades, while math grades of non-participants declined; and
  • were less likely to miss two weeks or more of school than students who did not receive a home visit.

How does HOME WORKS! define “parent engagement”?

HOME WORKS! defines parent engagement as a set of behaviors that parents and families intentionally and continuously practice that positively impact a child’s learning at home and academic success at school. Parent engagement includes daily reading and two-way communication with the child and regular two-way communication with the child’s school.

What is the difference between HOME WORKS! and other home visiting programs?

Focus: HOME WORKS! serves primarily low socio-economic status women, children, and families.

Duration: HOME WORKS! is one of the only home-visiting program in Missouri that visits the homes of students from early childhood through high school.

Depth: HOME WORKS! aims for a fundamental culture change in homes, schools, and communities. In addition to home visits, families attend dinners at school, “breaking bread” with teachers, to deepen their relationships and build trust.

Philosophy: HOME WORKS! believes that all parents want their children to succeed in school and in life. We see parents as partners and co-educators and realize the critical role they play in the education of their children.

Quality: HOME WORKS! provides comprehensive professional development for teachers and other school personnel on how to make effective home visits.

Breadth: HOME WORKS! serves early childhood centers and elementary, middle, and high schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

Research: HOME WORKS! is committed to collecting data and conducting annual evaluations with an outside evaluation team.

Perseverance: HOME WORKS! invests in long-term relationships and practices. Teachers build trust with families and everyone develops and improves skills and habits that promote better education for children.

Does HOME WORKS! accept volunteers?

Unfortunately, no. Because the HOME WORKS! mission focuses on building relationships between parents and their child’s teachers, between school and home, only teachers and other school personnel make home visits and are paid to make each visit.

Are teachers compensated for home visits?

Yes. Teachers are paid $25 for each home visit.

How can teachers get involved with HOME WORKS!?

Teachers should discuss HOME WORKS! with their principal and/or superintendent who can then request a meeting with us to discuss bringing HOME WORKS! to their school. Please contact Karen Kalish with questions regarding the application process at karenkalish@gmail.com.

What can parents gain from a home visit?

Overwhelmingly, parents and families who have received home visits agree that HOME WORKS! has had a positive impact on their relationship with the school and has improved their child’s academic achievement, attendance, classroom behavior, and homework completion.

How can parents request a home visit?

First, contact your school and/or teacher to see if they are participating in the HOME WORKS! program. If so, you can ask your child’s teacher to schedule a home visit. If your child’s school isn’t partnered with HOME WORKS!, we encourage you to recommend us to your school board, superintendent, and parent-teacher organization to get the conversation started.

How does HOME WORKS! partner with a school?

HOME WORKS! and the school district share the cost of paying the teachers to make home visits, and HOME WORKS! pays for the rest: teacher trainings, family dinners at school with transportation and interpreters for those who need them, academic materials for teachers to take on visits for parents to use at home, data collection, and an annual evaluation.

How can an interested school/district become part of the HOME WORKS! program?

Interested schools/districts should first become familiar with the program and check our selection criteria. Then the superintendent/head of school should contact HOME WORKS! for an appointment with Karen Kalish, the CEO, at executivedirector@teacherhomevisit.org.

The next step: HOME WORKS! will present the program to the entire school faculty. If at least 50% of classroom teachers agree to home visits and the school makes a three- to five-year commitment, HOME WORKS! begins a deep and serious discussion to see if the school will do what it takes to make teacher home visits a priority.