(Written by Nora McAdams) Most parents realize that parental involvement in education is important in some way, but for many, it’s more of a nagging notion than a hard fact. But there are measurable ways that parental involvement in schools can make a difference, from an increase in student academic achievement to benefits for parents and teachers.
Read on as we discuss 15 different ways parental involvement helps to improve outcomes for students, schools, and education as a whole.
- Parents can influence an overall improvement in academic achievement:As part of a meta-analysis of parental involvement and student achievement, Harvard researchers found that overall, students whose parents are highly involved in their school will average about .5 to .6 of a standard deviation in overall educational outcomes, substantially higher than students whose parents are less involved.
- Children with educationally involved parents have a more positive attitude about school:Students who see that their parents are excited about school tend to follow suit. Parents who are involved in their child’s school often have children with a positive attitude about school, with improved behavior in school and less disciplinary suspension.
- Family participation in education shows better academic success than family socioeconomic status:Students from a higher socioeconomic status tend to do better than those with a low status, but parental involvement in education gives lower income students a much better chance. Family participation in education is twice as predictive of student academic success as socioeconomic status, and in some intensive programs, it’s 10 times greater than other factors.
- Teachers benefit greatly as well:Research shows that teachers of students with parents who are involved are better able to identify learning problems at early stages, meaning parental involvement can actually help teachers do a better job. But it can make them feel great about their jobs, too: parental involvement and positive parent interactions have been found to improve the job satisfaction and self-perception of teachers.
- Parents find great benefits, too:Parents who get involved in their child’s school can reap the benefits, as they feel more confident in their parenting skills, and can become more responsive and sensitive to their children’s needs. Consequently, as parents learn more about child development, they can enjoy more affection, positive reinforcement, and less punishment of their children.
- Students with highly involved parents can experience learning gains in reading and math:Students who have more highly involved parents tend to make stronger reading and math gains than students with parents who are less involved. This improvement happens regardless of income level, and it seems that family income has no effect on participation, with low-income families just as likely to be involved as high income families.
- Family involvement at the adolescent level results in better social outcomes:Adolescents whose parents have good home-school relationships including communication and participation in outreach programs will develop better socially. These students demonstrate a higher level of self-esteem, social confidence, and participation in extracurricular programs.
- Older students are less likely to drop out of school when parents remain involved:There’s a good reason for parents to stick around and be involved in middle and high school: their kids will be less likely to drop out. Middle and high school students with parents who are involved in education will usually make better transitions and are less likely to drop out of school.
- Parent expectations for high achievement helps foster high achievement:Parents who believe their adolescents will go far in school often have students who do just that. Specifically, parents who make their expectations clear to their children help to influence the amount of time they spend on their homework and academic achievement, which translates into high educational attainment.
- Parental school involvement is significantly associated with early literacy:Harvard researchers have found that parents who were involved in school have children that experience early literacy, including reading, math, and general knowledge. This was experienced among all groups of children, except for Asian children’s reading achievement.
- Academic enrichment outside of school translates into reading and math improvement:In a recent study, C2 Education Coordinating Group researchers found that parents who participate in academic enrichment activities outside of school, students can make great gains in reading or math performance. Specifically, parents who engaged in these activities for an average of less than 12 weeks had children who demonstrated an equivalent of four to five months’ improvement in reading or math performance.
- Parental involvement represents thousands in per-pupil spending:Researchers from the University of New Hampshire discovered that parental effort has a substantial effect and associated with higher levels of achievement. This effect is so high that to achieve the same results, schools would need to increase per-pupil spending by more than $1,000.
- Getting involved can help stop drug and alcohol use:Parents who maintain a positive home life can encourage positive behavior outside of the home as well. According to the Michigan Department of Education and Michigan substance abuse centers, parents who are more involved have children who are less likely to try drugs or alcohol.
- Students of involved parents have fewer behavioral problems:If parents spend more time at school, kids are less likely to act up. Research has shown that students with parents who are involved in their school often have fewer behavioral problems, with the most impact at the elementary level.
- Students whose parents know about higher level programs are likely to be in them:Being around and aware of what’s available is a big part of parent involvement. Parents who know about higher-level programs, such as AP classes that lead to college credit, are more likely to have students who will enroll in those programs, earn credits, and score higher on tests, regardless of family background.
- Want to know more about the Common Core Learning Standards? Please check more info on http://engageny.org/resource/shifts-for-students-and-parents/ A critical component of a student’s success in school is dependent on what and how they learn at home. This practical guide provides steps that parents can take to improve their child’s learning of the Common Core.
Nora McAdams is a freelancer writer of Braintrack.com and she always writes education and mental health related articles. The article,15 Proven Effects of Parental Involvement in Schools has been published on BrainTrack.