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Benefits of parent involvement in education

Published:Monday | October 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Grade-one student Abigail Meghoo smiles after performing a skit during a literacy fair at Independence City Primary School in Portmore, St Catherine, recently. - Anthony Minott/Freelance Photographer

Taniesha Burke, Contributor

Parental involvement in the nurturing of a child's education and overall development is one of the core indicators of later achievement. It is through this involvement that children understand and appreciate the importance of a solid education.

Parental involvement is, but not limited to, reading together, asking the children about their day at school and their performance in each subject, assisting with homework and projects, tutoring with materials and instruments provided by the school, regular communication with teachers for feedback on the child's progress, and being actively involved in school activities through volunteering and attending school functions and meetings.

According to researchers, children whose parents are actively involved in their education, through these and other forms of activities are at an advantage, especially if parents are involved at an early age. One of the most notable indicators of early involvement is higher academic achievement. Researchers have shown that parental involvement not only benefits children but it also benefits parents and the school.

Some of the results have indicated that when parents are actively involved in the educational progress their children:

Exhibit positive attitude and social behaviours.

Receive higher grades in assignments and perform better on tests.

Are less likely to miss school.

Are more likely to have homework completed.

Grow to become productive and responsible members of society.

Have a stronger bond and relationship with their parents.

Have a greater chance of being enroled in post-secondary institutions.

Have a positive attitude towards school.

Perform better on IQ tests.

Benefits to the school include:

Greater support by families.

Better student performance.

Improves teacher morale.

Students with involved parents are more motivated to succeed and are less disruptive.

Parents become advocates of school's issues and concerns through programmes such as fund-raising.

Improvement in communication between parents and teachers/administrators.

Improvement in the relationship with the community..

parents' benefits from this involvement:

Develop a sense of pride and satisfaction when the children succeed from the tutoring and guidance they provide.

Become intimately aware of their children's strengths and weaknesses due to their one-to-one interactions.

Better understand that they are one of the most important keys to their children's academic success.

Understand the education programme which their children receive.

Appreciate and understand the challenges and concerns of teachers.

Develop a stronger bond with their children.

Are inspired and motivated to continue the advancement of their education.

It is important to realise that our attitudes as parents toward education and achievement have a powerful impact on our children's willingness to achieve. We are the first and most powerful role models they have.

Becoming actively involved in your children's education may be intimidating at the start, but you should never allow insecurities about your abilities, level of education, level of income and employment status hinder you. The most important thing is that you are emotionally supporting their needs. Bear in mind that the more involved you are in your children's education, the higher their level of achievement. Show your interest and commitment to their success and they will be more motivated to do their best.

Be involved in the development of your children's future! All it takes is your time, interest and effort!

Sources:

Henderson, A.T. & Berla, N. (1994). A new generation of evidence: The family is critical to student achievement. Eric Digest Clearinghouse: New York

Rich, D. (1985). The forgotten factor in school success: The family; A policymaker's guide. The Home and School Institute. British Columbia: Canada.

Taniesha is the author of the book 'Raising the Next Barack Obama: A Guide on how to Develop Core Principles for Success in Your Child'. She can be reached for comments at taniesha.burke@prestonchildcare.com