Show MoreToday’s children are our future. We, as a society must do everything we can to ensure they get the best possible education. In the United States, according to a PBS report, “Close to one million American children drop out of school every year (Phalen, 2013)”. It is the most crucial time ever in America for parental involvement in a child’s education. Parents need to take responsibility, become children’s advocates, and get involved in their children’s education as early as possible. Did you know that “students with involved parents are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs; be promoted, pass their classes and earn credits; attend school regularly; have better social skills, show…show more content…
There are several factors that influence parental involvement: socioeconomic status, ethnicity, language barrier, family composition, and educational level. When there are inadequacies in any or all of these areas, parental involvement is usually at risk and they miss out on essential information regarding their children’s education.
When parents of children living in a household have income above poverty level, parents are more likely to be involved in school activities. For example, “in 2011-2012, 45 percent of children living above the poverty line had a parent who volunteered or served on a committee at their child’s school, compared with 27 percent of children living at or below the poverty line” (National Center for School Engagement)). “A poor or limited personal education might leave the parent lacking in vision or confidence or competence in supporting their own child (Phalen, 2013).” “Low income families often perceive themselves as outside the school system and feel it is the school’s responsibility to do the teaching Furthermore, “the extent to which schools make parents feel comfortable and valued contributes to the adults’ participation in their children’s education (McDermott & Rothenberg, 2000).”
Parents who do not speak English are less likely to participate in their child’s school related activities, whether it is to attend a meeting, school event, volunteer or serve on a
It may seem that the only function of parents, whose children attend school, is to control their academic progress. This point of view has appeared because of the big number of parents, who do not wish to be involved in their children’s school life. In reality, the role of parents in the education of their children is of utmost importance and usually children of more active parents who participate in the school life study much better than those ones, who ignore school visits.
Another vital factor is the reason why some parents agree to visit a school. In most cases, it is has nothing to do with the improvement of their children’s success. There are examples of people, who come to the school building only to reproach teachers, some of naughty classmates or administration. Such behavior not only proves that these people are indifferent to everything that happens with their children until they complain about something but also diminishes school and teachers in the eyes of their children.
Parents hindering education or how to avoid mistakes
Usually, parents even do not realize that problems in their child’s education are a result of their attitude to both child and school. Sometimes talking to each other or with other adults they do not even notice how sometimes said as a joke statementcan be remembered by children and accepted as a serious conclusion. The others speak their mind about an educational process to their children and find nothing bad in this. But such minor viewpoints can lead to hatred and absence of desire to attend school. That is why it is important to know what words can hinder education to be able to avoid them in child’s presence:
- Discussion of teachers from the negative point of view or hindering of their teaching methods.
- Emphasizing of teacher’s mistakes.
- Allowance to skip school admitting pointless evidence of the children.
- Acceptance of children’s complaints about school without an effort to convince him or her in the opposite viewpoint.
- Paying no attention to blaming child’s failures on teacher’s shoulders.
- The utmost support of the child without a desire to learn real facts.
- Statements about the inappropriateness of school or absence of its role in our lives.
- Ignoring of any problems or complaints about the school life etc.
All these things can change the attitude of your kid to school forever and consequently, the academic success of the child will get only worse. If you have noticed at least once that one of the similar statements was pronounced by you, it is time to start controlling your behavior and expressions if you do not want that your child to face education problems.
How to help your child at home
Despite the fact that it is impossible to bring school and teachers to your home there are numerous activities that may help your child to be more successful at school. Home atmosphere plays a great role in education as well, so if you want to contribute to the studying of your kid, there are several tips to follow:
- Create a pleasant atmosphere at home. Quarrels and arguments will never be beneficial for children;
- Make a comfortable working place for a child to be able to study at home;
- Encourage a kid to do his homework well and deserve excellent marks by doing so;
- Always ask how the day was spent at school, if there are any problems or difficulties there, what was the best during the day trying to prevent serious troubles and promote pleasant memories connected with school;
- Try to explain that some teachers’ actions require patience and perseverance, they are also people and are not insured from making mistakes;
- Give a helping hand anytime child needs it and never forget to praise him or her for good achievements;
- Share your personal experience about your school years setting an example etc.
Only at home, each child feels safe and secure, so it is a perfect place to discuss any issues connected with schooling too. Being aware of parents’ interest in his or her life a child will make more efforts to make parents happy and proud of him.
Involvement in the school community
Actions always speak louder than words, so it is not enough to speak and communicate with the kid and avoid any actions. The evidence of your desire to be involved in schooling must be justified by your actions. It is advisable to visit school meetings and holidays, speak to teachers (via phone or face-to-face) with respect and respond to their requests.
There are also two popular ways to become a member of the school community: joining the parent group or the Board of Trustees. Each school class has its own parent group, who have a number of responsibilities. Known also as Parent Teacher Associations they consist of the parents, who want to support children in their education. There are also other functions of such groups including raising funds, organizing leisure activities, facilitation connection and communication between parents and school etc.
There is another more serious group of parents known as a Board of Trustees that represents the viewpoint of parents concerning the whole school, not class. The representatives are elected at class parent meetings and their main task is to provide all other parents with the information given by school administration. They also can offer their own ideas as for the strategy of the school development and initiate some useful to their mind activities.
Joining any type of these communities you will show your child that you are worried about the destiny of the school and do your best to develop it.
Other ways for parents to help educational process
Education of children has always been a priority for most of the parents and if you consider yourself a responsible and willing to help a parent, there are also some tips that may ease the educational process as well as encourage your child to study better. Though it may sound funny, a key to success of most of them is in parents’ hands, so do your best to achieve good results:
- Discourage your kid from lying. Many children would rather lie accusing a teacher than admit their own fault. You should always have to listen to both viewpoints to be able to evaluate the situation right.
- If you want to talk to the teacher about his mistakes or inappropriate behavior to your mind, do that personally during a parent-teacher conference never involving your child in this.
- Spend more time with your children for them not to feel ignored or lonely. By your doing so, they will entrust you with the secrets and problems they face as well as allow to look for their solutions together.
- Rank child’s necessity or desire to study higher than your personal wishes right now. Your favorite series on TV might disturb a reading kid, so sometimes it is better to wait and allow a child to finish his assignment in silence.
- Analyze the schedule of your kid’s working day to ensure that he or she has enough time for the home task and does not waste such valuable time for useless computer games, for example.
- Improve child’s study habits by teaching him or her how to work quicker and more productively. Learn some new memorizing techniques, pay attention to breaks during learning, having enough sleep etc. There are numerous useful study tips on the Web that might be in handy.
- Have a balance in love and strictness to the kid. Authoritative behavior is not always suitable and is hardly encouraging, so you should be able to see what is required by your child now and never be shy to show love for him.
It is always not easy to figure out what role parent play in their children’s education. The answer has no figurative expression, but it is obvious that this role in enormous. Parents, who think that education must be provided only in the educational establishments, make a big mistake and dig a deep trench between them and their kids. Sometimes this trench reaches such a big size that parents lose any influence on their children and it is connected not only with school. Parents must take part in their children’s lives, only then they will do well at school and develop as worthy personalities, that is for sure.
Also published on Medium.