Sunday, August 3, 2008

Getting Involved in Your Child's Education

An article that educators can share with parents on-line or in a mailing that is done from school.

When parents are involved in their children's education, kids do better in school.1. Want to learn how to help your child achieve and succeed? Read on! You'll learn why involvement is so important and suggestions for how to get involved.

Also, be sure to check out our downloadable parent guides, developed in partnership with National Parent Teacher Organization (PTA).

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 restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling.

How Can Parents Get Involved?

Involvement in your child's education can mean:

Reading to your child

Checking homework every night

your children's progress with teachers

Voting in school board elections

Helping your school to set challenging academic

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.
1. A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement, National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education.What Research Says About Parent Involvement in Children's Education ( 252 KB, 4pp), Michigan Department of Education.Parent Involvement in Education, Kathleen Cotton and Karen Reed Wikelund, Northwest Regional Education Lab (NWRLB).