What Is Parental Involvement, Exactly?
Parental involvement in your child's education can mean:
- Reading to your child;
- Checking homework every night;
- Volunteering in your child’s classroom;
- Discussing your children's progress with teachers;
- Helping your school to set challenging academic standards;
- Limiting TV viewing on school nights;
- Becoming an advocate for better education in your community and state.
Or, it can be as simple as asking your children, "How was school today?" But ask every day. That will send your children the clear message that their schoolwork is important to you and you expect them to learn.
Some parents and families are able to be involved in their child's education in many ways. Others may only have time for one or two activities. Whatever your level of involvement, do it consistently and stick with it because you will make an important difference in your child's life.
Why Is Parental Involvement Important?
In study after study, researchers discover how important it is for parents to be actively involved in their child's education. Here are some of the findings of major research into parental involvement:
- When parents are involved in their children's education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school — and the schools they go to are better.
- The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from preschool through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background.
- Reading achievement is more dependent on learning activities in the home than is math or science. Reading aloud to children is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child's chance of reading success. Talking to children about books and stories read to them also supports reading achievement.
- When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically.
- Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a child's time, helping with homework and discussing school matters.
- The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child's educational process, the more powerful the effects.
- Positive results of parental involvement include improved student achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and improved knowledge about your child’s school.
Thank you in advance for your involvement in your child’s education.
Reprinted from the National Education Association.