A big misconception most parents believe today is the idea that the education of their children is solely their teacher’s responsibility. It is false. Parental involvement is the best means of creating a positive learning environment and inculcating a zeal for study in their children. Research has shown that active parental engagement in education tremendously improves children’s motivation, behaviour and academic performance. Taking an active role in your child’s education will enable you to connect learning at school to activities at home, giving your child a boost in cognitive development and self-confidence.
How does a lack of parental involvement affect student achievement?
Though schools primarily function to impart knowledge and skills to children, their parents have a pivotal responsibility to create an atmosphere at home that encourages learning and social development. Where it is lacking, student’s performance will falter.
Three most common inimical effects of lack of parental involvement on student’s academic achievement include:
Some ways in which parental involvement can spur academic growth include engaging with school activities, providing support during assignments and communicating with teachers. If parents pay less attention to their children’s academics, it could lead to poor grades. Homework is an aspect of academics where parents have to get involved actively. For improved academic performance, parents have to communicate frequently with their children in the area of assignments. If parents are not actively engaged in their children’s classroom activities, like assignment, it will consequently lead to lower grades. In the long run, they will unintentionally encourage student apathy.
Poor school attendance and truancy
When parents are not actively involved in their children’s educational pursuit, truancy creeps in. Truancy or absenteeism occurs when a child continually stays away from school without giving any reasonable excuse. Truancy has a very negative effect on a student’s academic performance. If a parent places a very low value on education and does not actively supervise his child’s school activity, this action may cause poor attendance.
High self-esteem helps school children do better at school. Poor self-esteem will likely lead to a decrease in academic performance. When parents are not involved in their children’s education to encourage and support them, it will lead to negative feelings about academic work and low self-confidence.
What causes a lack of parental involvement?
Some causes of lack of parental involvement in their children’s education include:
A primary barrier to parental involvement in their children’s education is time constraints. This is especially for parents whose jobs are time-demanding and inflexible. Not that these parents are not committed to their children’s education, but their jobs are so energy and time consuming that they rarely have time to monitor their children’s academic progress or provide support during assignments. Sometimes, these parents spend less time at home, which increases the likelihood of their children misbehaving.
Language and cultural barrier
Some parents who are not fluent in the English language may shy away from their children’s school activities. This situation occurs in immigrant families. Parents with limited proficiency in English may not be keen on supervising assignments and schoolwork at home. This communication problem will also obstruct interaction between teachers and school administrator.
For low-income families, ‘limited fund’ is always cited as a factor preventing parents from involving in their children’s education. To them, the kind of parental support they wish to give is always hampered by lack of money. This limited fund can cause low-income earning parents to neglect their children’s school needs. This scenario often fuels poor academic performance and low self-esteem in children.
Parent’s level of education
Parent’s level of education influences the way children learn and act in school. This factor considerably prevents some parents from actively involving in their children’s education. This class of parents rarely support their children’s academics at home because they either place low value on educational work, or they feel that they are not competent enough to assist during school tasks.
What are the benefits of parental involvement?
Parental involvement in children’s education is highly beneficial. Here are some positive impacts of parental involvement:
Higher grades and better academic achievement
A lot of research studies have shown that parental involvement will better the academic performance of children. Parents who regard themselves as partners in their children’s progress are more likely to see great educational achievement by their children. These scholarly improvements happen when parents provide homework support and attend school events. Parental participation will motivate and spur school children to do better.
Improvement in school attendance
Increased parental involvement in a child’s educational activities will promote frequent school attendance. This correlation emanates from the fact that parents‘ involvement is a signal to the child that education is highly valued. Hence, punctuality and regular attendance.
Parental participation in their children’s school activities will, to an extent, discourage delinquents’ attitude and drug dependence. Positive attitudes are also likely to be seen in children whose parents are actively involved with their school work. Some examples of these positive attitudes are ambition, creativity, teamwork and friendliness.
Improved self-esteem and mental health
Parents who actively support and motivate their children during school work will encourage positive esteem in their children. Parental involvement will also boost emotional functioning and positive psychological development in school kids.
How can we improve parent involvement?
You can improve parental involvement with the following expert tips:
- Establish communication with your child’s teacher. Interacting with your child’s teacher will help you stay informed about your child’s progress. You should also create time to attend PTA meetings.
- Foster a reading culture at home. There is a link between reading and stellar academic performances. Be a good model for your child by actively reading. You can also create a mini-library at home or go on trips to the library with your child.
- Limit screen time. Television and phone addiction are on the rise among today’s children. They pose a great deterrent to excellent academic performance at school. Try as much as possible to regulate the amount of time your child spends watching television or playing games on the phone. You can also encourage your child to watch programmes that have educational value.
- Establish a friendly routine that allocates time for homework/assignments, studying and chore responsibility. It would be best if you create a positive environment where your child will study without distraction.