Parental Involvement in Child Education – Why It Matters and is Key to Success
All parents wish the best for their kids. Parents often want their kids to do better than themselves. They want their kids to have what there lacked growing up. And most parents want the best education for their children. That is why children’s education has been and remains a significant concern for many parents. However, every parent has a different perspective on kids school and how to tackle the process. Some parents like to be vigilant and active in the child education process, while others remain apathetic and casual about it.
In this article, we will discuss all the elements that play in what is called parental involvement in child education.
What does the phrase “Parental Involvement” imply?
For certain people, parental involvement implies the following-:
- Making it a habit to guide school kids with their homework,
- Staying updated with their academics,
- Helping them with their projects,
- Reading with them,
- Continually keeping in touch with their kid’s tutors or teachers, etc.
However, few people think that simply discussing with the child about his grades, homework completion & submission, and merely talking about the day in kids school constitutes “parental involvement.”
So, whatever crucial end you find yourself in, the one thing that stays common is that you are concerned about your children’s education, and you want the best for them. Before continuing further, it’s important to note that parenting is a personalized method. And each one of you has the right to move forward with what you think is best for your child.
Is parental involvement necessary to strengthen children’s education?
There is no ‘Yes/No’ answer to this question, and we can debate about it forever. However, research suggests that, in general, children’s academics is directly proportional to parental involvement. Regardless of other factors or situations involving the child, good parental involvement can enhance the child’s overall development. In this article, we will discuss all the yes and no’s to decide whether parental involvement is effective and some strategies to attain it. If yes, to what extent, considering previous researches and aggregate of what most parents think.
Before we proceed, however, let us explore some factors why parents do not engage themselves in children’s education.
Why are some parents disengaged in child education?
Every parent in the world wants their kid to excel, and some do understand that involvement will yield good results. However, some prefer not to do it. There can be many reasons why this is the case. Here are some of them:
Lack of time
As parents are trying to shape their career and striving to climb to the top of the ladder or navigate social circles, they often ignore the education part completely. They are so busy with their lives that they cannot focus on their child’s education even if they want.
Lack of comfort
Another critical reason why parents do not want to indulge in this exercise is that they feel opaque on the subjects and cannot speak confidently to the teachers. They feel inadequate, and the situation makes them nervous. They stay back and watch rather than dive in and make amends.
Lack of realization
Many parents still think that studying and academics are the responsibilities of teachers. They ask why do they need to be involved? If the student scores less, it can all be poured upon the teachers, and they think that their involvement will make no difference.
Some parents may have had bad experiences in their student lives that led to a complete shutdown from the child’s educational engagement. However, this does not mean that they care less; it is just a different perspective.
Many parents do not want to place any pressure on their school children. Such parents would like to stay hands-off so their children can progress at their pace. They think active involvement might work against the natural development of their child education and growth. This approach is based on personal belief and may arise from considered judgment, cultural background, etc.
Regardless of the reasons, the lack of parental involvement can negatively affect the overall development of a child. We will discuss some of them below.
How does parental disengagement affect school children?
Whatever the problem, parents’ lack of involvement will harm the overall growth of school children from early childhood development to K 12 education and beyond. These growth factors will include academic performance, social skills, emotional development, and the building of self-esteem. Let us discuss them in detail.
Kids schools can provide homework and accept rote answers from the child. However, understanding the comprehensive concepts should be the kid’s ultimate goal. Memorizing and spitting out the answers will not help to grasp the concepts. This can usually be the case if proper guidance and attention are not provided at home.
Respect for School & Teachers
Parents should teach these values and embed trust and respect for teachers and school. With a decline in parents’ involvement, the kids won’t feel great about the school & teachers. They will develop a notion that education isn’t something of great importance. That notion will be strengthened if the parents are not interested and involved.
Relatively lower self-esteem & self-confidence
When the parents are not involved, children do not gain as much confidence in their work. For example, if a child is preparing a speech for a competition, he may write the speech and develop it very well. But with a lack of parent’s involvement, there will be no one to optimize it. All parents are more experienced and can provide valuable feedback to the speech. Imagine other school children who have incorporated such feedback in their work. Even though both have done the same work, chances are that the latter will be the winner. How wonderfully will that boost the latter’s self-esteem?
That said, it’s time to put forward the need for parental involvement.
How does parental involvement affect child education?
As mentioned earlier, research has shown that parental involvement can be a critical factor in boosting children’s academics. The involvement undoubtedly increases children’s test scores and makes them take school seriously by being punctual and keen to attend classes. Irrespective of their family background and income, school children can also have better social skills and improved behavior.
The involvement can make school children more confident and encourages their self-esteem. Because the children are better prepared and optimistic, it can positively impact their surroundings (be it in school or at home).
Parental involvement in K 12 education is significant, and many schools have incorporated ways to work with parents to provide a bright future for the children. Before indulging in effective parental involvement strategies, however, let us explore how much involvement is enough.
How much parental involvement is enough?
As in many other situations, here, quality is more important than quantity. If you have limited hours to spend with your kid, fill it effectively. Make it count.
Parents are more involved when the kids are young or in the lower classes. Research has found that parental involvement in early childhood development is crucial. Schools and teachers demand more association in early childhood development than in the later stages of child education. This involvement mainly includes the frequency & quality of communicating with teachers and participating in kids school activities and functions.
Ideally, you should be aware of your kids school day-to-day activities. You should also help the child whenever he/she reaches out to you for homework and projects. The child will be more dependent on you during the early childhood development period, and you should be available to help out. This will likely increase the child’s confidence and boost his/her drive to study and achieve good results.
When parents act as an optimistic backup of their kid’s academic life, school children develop a lifelong love for learning.
If you are busy and lack the time to give to your child, you can chat about the grades and kids school work. This acknowledgment will help them stay focused and engaged in school academics. They will at least concede that you care about their education, and your concern will likely drive them to study harder.
Strategies for effective parental involvement in K 12 Education (Step-by-step)
As discussed earlier, parental involvement can work wonders for kids. Therefore, schools & personal tutors should make a strategy to try to involve parents more and more to obtain desired results. Let us look at some of the techniques that enhance parental involvement during various phases of K 12 education.
Parental involvement for kindergartens
At kindergarten, kids are entering the vast universe of child education. It is the responsibility of parents and schools to collaborate and make this experience rich and filled with confidence. Here’s a list to do things for starters:
Spread positive vibes
Kids need to be motivated and influenced to attend school. Therefore, parents should create an exciting environment to make things work out smoothly. They should focus on spreading positive vibes when talking about school or while walking them to school.
Kindergarten schools conduct open-houses and special parent-teacher meetings periodically to discuss the child’s progress depending on your area norms. These meetings mainly involve discussing the overall development of the kid in a school-like atmosphere. Among other things, the teacher will discuss the social and emotional involvement of the child. The teacher might also ask you to follow specific procedures to smoothen this process of adjustment for the kid.
Developing social skills
At this point in life, your kid can find it tough to trust others and build a friendship with his peers. You can ease the process by organizing playdates, barbecues, picnics, and volunteer opportunities.
As this is the start of child education, you will have to pay enough attention to build it right. Research also proves that parents must involve the most during this early childhood development phase of a child’s education.
Parental involvement for primary schoolers and K 12 education
At this stage, children get used to schools and understand that studying is the new norm, as is brushing, bathing, and sleeping. Studying and learning is the primary focus area now. If you have somehow missed involvement during the kindergarten years, you should surely level up at this point.
Collaborative involvement in kids school
Research has shown that if the school provides homework that requires the child to interact with family members for completion, their performance is elevated, and they are more confident. Many kids schools offer projects that need assistance from parents, and positive involvement can do wonders. While many teachers voluntarily provide support, if yours does not, you can ask them to commit to raising the child’s educational goals better. You can ask for their contact info and request a one-to-one meeting at times. Remember, if you show a keen interest in your child’s welfare, the teacher would love to provide support and required assistance as well.
Attending parents-teachers meeting
While some parents consider it important and worthy to stay in touch with a child’s educator, many of them need a push. Schools or tutors need to explain to the parents how important & beneficial it would be for their kids to build a partnership with studies. Explaining to them the positive approach will motivate them to join their kids. Parents will come up with new ideas that will unfold new horizons for their child education and creativity.
Getting child’s progress updates can help you recalibrate your involvement effectively. If the kid faces a downfall compared to previous results, you should analyze the situation and think of remedies to cope up.
Motivation & Inspiration
At this vulnerable age, school children encounter failure and should be taught how to deal. You should encourage them and give them a hundred percent devotion irrespective of the results. Securing the second rank in a speech competition or not securing too well in academics is a part of the process. Your children should learn to accept failure.
Motivation is something that only you can inject into your child’s life.
Technological ways to boost parental involvement
These days, educators use many resources to boost parental involvement. Education experts and organizations consider parental participation vital to the success of school children. They usually refer to parents as partners. And many of these establishments have created tools to help parents to be the perfect partners. Below are some of them.
A dedicated learning App
Many schools have developed a dedicated mobile app that shares all the vital information like classwork done for the day, homework assigned or projects in progress. This will keep parents in the loop about the child’s academics and help them set goals for smoothening the child’s learning process both at home and in school.
Parents should keep track of educators’ appointments about essential updates like open-houses, parent-teacher meetings, carnivals, etc. Make these appointments a priority and keep yourself free for a considerable amount of time during the day. Setting monthly calendars of events can help you with scheduling.
Social Media usage
This era of technological advancements has nullified the parents’ barriers of distance and reachability. You can check on your child’s progress by having a quick chat with teachers and tutors on learning platforms, or apps like Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, etc. However, make sure your teacher is OK before passing a series of messages. You can also send an e-mail or text message to communicate effectively.
Getting help online
These days, many parents are also seeking professional help to augment their parental involvement with child education. You too can take advantage of this help to take your involvement to the next level. You can hire a great tutor online who can help your child regularly and monitor your child’s progress. The tutor can identify your child’s unique learning style, as well as weaknesses and strengths, and recommend a specific learning plan. Whether it is early childhood education or K 12 education, this can greatly simplify your responsibilities as a parent and make your involvement much more effective.
At ViTutors.com, you can hire tutors from anywhere in the world for all levels, subjects, and budgets. Vitutors provides highly qualified tutors for the subjects and levels of your choice. You will have complete control of hiring and managing online tutors according to your timings and specific needs. To learn more, please visit us online at ViTutors.com. We look forward to having a chat with you soon.