As the nation expanded, the need for education became more important. Federal and state governments recognized this as well, and there are laws on the books that state when a child has to start school and how long they must attend school for. These laws also state that every child has a right to a free education, and that that education must be a quality education. Even with the laws and regulations that oversee the education system, there are still some issues that need to be addressed. One of those is parent involvement.
Every year schools across the country set goals for themselves on what they need to work on. One topic that is consistently on that list year after year is how to get parents more involved in their child’s eduction. Parental involvement includes both in-the-school involvement as well as taking an active role at home as well. There are many reasons why parents are less involved in their child’s studies than the schools would like. Some of those reasons are societal, some are communication based, and some are due to the family dynamic.
Our society has changed drastically over the decades, and more households than ever before have both parents working outside of the home. With parents gone most of the day, a large portion of their time is spent in the workplace. It can be tough for them to get the time off to be at the school during the day. A large number of parents want to be able to be there at the school when their children need them, but their busy work schedules make that almost impossible.
Another reason given for lack of parental involvement is lack of communication between the parents and the teachers. Some parents are unaware of how to get ahold of the teachers and vice versa. This leads to frustration on both sides when educators and parents do not have a direct link for staying informed about what is going on with the student as well as in the classroom.
There are some parents, for one reason or another, simply choose not to be involved in the education of their children. These parents can be the hardest to reach out to for involvement. Reasons such as lack of time or not understanding the way material is currently taught are just some of the reasons behind parents choose to stay away from the classroom. The way students are taught certain subjects has changed and this can be a struggle for some parents.
Even though it can be a monumental task to reach out to parents to have them be involved in some way, it is definitely worth the fight. Countless studies have been done over the past few decades to showcase the benefits of even the minimalist amount of parent involvement. Children, parents, teachers, and the overall school benefit when parents are there helping out with their kids.
When parents think of being involved, they generally think of volunteering their time inside the classroom. This is not the only way to be involved. There are plenty of ways to be involved outside of the classroom and have a huge impact on their student’s education. Things like reading a book to their kids at night or helping out with their homework will have a lasting impact. Taking a few minutes at the end of the day to talk about what happened at school or what is going to be happening in the coming weeks will build the communication bridge. If the child is involved in a sport or an extracurricular activity, parents who attend these events regularly see so much more from their child than those who don’t.
Spending time inside the classroom is just as important as what goes on outside of it. Teachers need help from time to time with different tasks, and helping out builds a relationship between the parent and the teacher. Schools always have events and activities going on and are very likely to be receptive to any help that is offered.
Parent involvement has been shown to improve the behavior of the student. Involved parents have an awareness of what is going on with the student both inside and outside of school, and the student knows this. This knowledge comes with expectations, and the students most often will rise to the occasion. Along with better behavior, students tend to be less aggressive to themselves and others and are less likely be involved with drugs and alcohol.
It has been shown that when a parent is involved, the attendance record of the student will improve. Students are expected to be at school and because of this, attitudes towards school are higher. These students want to be at school, and they are more willing to learn. Test scores are higher, and overall grade point averages are higher. The graduation rate tends to be higher in students who have an involved parents or family members.
Mental health has been a hot topic lately and children who have parents involved tend to have a better mental health situation. Their self esteem is higher, and they are able to handle their emotions and stressors in a better way. These kids tend to interact with their peers more effectively and have social skills that are more advanced.
Parental involvement is an issue that schools may always deal with, but the studies show that this involvement has benefits that reach far beyond just the individual student. The student performs better, the teacher has a higher satisfaction rate, the parents are happier, and the school itself has a higher rate of success. Education is vitally important to students and their future, and everything needs to be done to make that a successful journey. Parents being involved is a huge part of that process.