Parental Involvement is a Critical Factor in the Success of Childrens' Education
Educational specialists have deemed that parental involvement may be the single-most important factor in determining the success of children's education. Study after study show that when parents stay connected with their children's school and educational process, children are more likely to achieve academic success. Furthermore, family participation in education has been found to be twice as predictive of students' scholastic success as family socioeconomic status.
According to research, children whose families are involved in their education:
- Achieve higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates
- Have better school attendance
- Have increased motivation and better self-esteem
- Do more homework
- Behave better in school
- Have fewer instances of violent behavior and suspension
- Have lower rates of drugs and alcohol use
However many parents, especially those who are non-English speakers or who themselves did not succeed as students, don't know how to help their children and may fear their children's schools. Schools and district leaderships therefore play a pivotal role in initiating activities, programs, and practices which encourage parental involvement at school and which guide parents in how to help their children at home.
Families and Schools Together (FAST) Work for Children is a coalition of education advocates, community groups, and schools working together to foster family involvement in education. The initiative is sponsored by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), a democratic organization working to create an optimal environment to achieve excellence in public education in New Jersey.
Recognizing how essential parental involvement is in student success, as well as the fact that most parents do not become involved with their children's education, the goals of FAST are to makes families feel welcome in public schools, encourage parents to become more involved in their children's education, and guide parents in helping their children succeed.
To achieve these goals, FAST trains school employees and community representatives to serve as liaisons, providing resource materials for parents and encouraging them to participate in teacher conferences and other school activities. The liaisons present homework strategies, parent conference tips, and programs designed to build behaviors, attitudes, and standards which determine achievement in school and beyond.
"Parents are a child's first and most important teachers," said Dawn Hiltner, a former teacher and NJEA Associate Director of Communications. "So it's important that parents set a positive tone about school and show their children that they value education. Parents can do this by sitting with their children during homework time, reading correspondence from school, and checking their child’s progress on tests and other schoolwork."
NJEA FAST has also partnered with parent advocacy groups to host interactive workshops which foster partnerships between parents and teachers and which explore the challenges of collaboration between parents and professionals.
Education Tips for Parents and Families
Given the importance of family involvement in children's education, here are some specific ways you can help your kids achieve scholastic success:
- Hold high aspirations
- Set high but realistic standards of achievement
- Consistently encourage your kids in all their academic endeavors
- Promote a conducive learning environment at home
- Help with homework and follow up on progress at school (i.e. maintain a good rapport with teachers)
- Encourage an interest in reading from an early age (children who practice reading at home make significant gains in reading achievement compared to kids who only practice at school)
- Praise scholastic successes and accomplishments
- Recognize individual talents and collaborate with your children to plan future educational options
Quality of the Learning Environment
Positive learning outcomes have also been shown to be influenced by the quality of the learning environment and school facilities. Hertz Furniture's premium selection of modern daycare furniture, classroom furniture, and safe playground equipment foster ideal working conditions for both students and teachers.