Much research has been done to indicate the importance of parents’ and other caregivers’ involvement in a child’s education, and the benefits that result. In fact, an NEA policy brief states “Parent, family, and community involvement in education correlates with… school improvement”.
The research is there; those simple “What did you learn at school today?” conversations matter. Let’s take a closer look at three ways staying involved in your child’s education makes a difference, as well as three simple things you can start doing today to take a more active role!
How Parent Involvement Helps:
Improved Academic Outcomes
Studies, such as this one by the Michigan Department of Education, have shown that children whose parents are actively involved in their education are more likely to demonstrate higher achievement in school, earning better grades and test scores as well as displaying higher graduation rates.
Increased Motivation and Positive Attitudes
When parents talk about education in a positive light around their children, it’s contagious. Kids pick up on the positivity, and come to view education highly themselves. This positive attitude then leads to higher academic aspirations and increased motivation to do well in school.
Parents who view education and school positively can help their children to be better behaved in the classroom as well. When a child has a deep sense of respect for education, they’ll value their time in the classroom, and be more likely to be on their best behaviour.
Simple Tips to Take a More Active Role in Your Child’s Education:
Encourage Learning at Home
Establishing a consistent structure and routine for learning with your child, for example scheduling dedicated time for homework or reading together every night before bed, helps make learning a priority in your family. In turn, this helps education become important to your child as well. Try creating a designated study or reading space for your child to help them further take ownership over their learning.
Make Learning Fun
One of the most important things you can do to support your child’s education is to help them see that learning happens everywhere—and it’s fun! Take advantage of simple, everyday opportunities to instil a little extra learning. For example, play card games that emphasize counting and probability skills, turn a trip to the grocery store into a packaging label word hunt, or take a walk through your local park and see how many different kinds of animals or plants your child can find and identify. Your child won’t even realize they’re practicing important foundational skills.
Help Your Child Set Goals
Goal setting is an important skill—it helps all of us stay focused, motivated, and productively working towards things we value. Working with your child to identify goals and get a plan in place to achieve them can make a huge difference in their academic career. Start by talking to them about the things they do and don’t enjoy, why that is, and what they see as their strengths and weaknesses. Then, pick two or three goals to focus on, helping your child set a timeline and break their goals down into smaller, manageable tasks. Be sure to talk about your own goals and what you do to achieve them in the process.
By: Lindsay Coles