As a parent, you would give anything to see your child flourish. Academics is one area in which parents love to see their children do well. While sending your child to a good school is a great step, there are several things you need to do as a parent – mom, dad – or guardian, to help your child. This article looks into a number of ways through which you can involve yourself in your child’s education. So you can gain the positive impacts that parental involvement has on the academic performance of your child.
What parental involvement means
In this context, parental involvement means the direct or indirect participation by parents in the academic learning process of their child. It can present itself in different ways, from actively helping your child with his/her academics to taking steps that indirectly support your child and encourage good academic performance.
How parents can involve themselves in their child’s academics?
1. Financial support
This is, of course, an important way for parents to involve themselves in their child’s education. Paying necessary fees will ensure that the child does not miss out on learning. This also covers providing learning materials where needed. When parents do their best to provide financial support for their children, it will make it possible for the child to fully benefit from the learning process. Even more, it will show the child that the parents are interested in education. This is likely to build a positive attitude towards school in the child.
2. Moral support
Providing moral support is another indirect but very effective way for parents to be involved in their child’s academics. It is important to commend and encourage your child on his/her successes and support him/her on occasions of poor performances. One avenue to do this is talking to your child about school on a daily basis during the school year.
3. Active participation
Sometimes, it becomes necessary for parents to actively involve themselves in their child’s academics. This participation can be divided into two categories – active participation at home and active participation in school.
Active participation at home: This includes –
• organizing and monitoring the time your child spends on schoolwork, in relation to chores and playtime. Help your child manage his/her time between watching TV and getting his/her homework done or preparing for school.
• reading with your child and talking with him/her about the books and stories you read together. If you do not have the time to do this, have your child read and talk to you about what he/she has read.
• helping your child work on homework assignments or tutoring him/her with materials and instructions provided by teachers (or found on the internet).
If you do not have time to do these yourself and you employ a home tutor to do this, endeavour to occasionally join the lessons. As you join, try to balance between making sure your child is gaining from the lesson and you not overtaking the tutor’s role.
Active participation in school:
Beyond the home, parents can still involve themselves in their child’s academics by doing things such as –
• attending and actively supporting school activities when possible. This includes sport activities, graduation ceremonies, career day, bring-your-parent-to-school day, or any other events to which the parents are invited.
• discussing issues with teachers. If a problem arises, try to address it quickly by requesting to meet with the teacher. It is also important to let the teacher know of any issues at home that may affect your child’s school performance. Even as you maintain privacy, doing this would help the teacher know the best way to help your child.
• attending parent-teacher meetings. When it is time for PTA meetings, make out time to attend and participate in PTA.
As you try to be an advocate for your child, making sure that his/her needs are being met, remember to be as respectful as possible.
Doing these would help to build strong rapport with your child’s teacher and school. This should, however, not be done only when the child is in kindergarten or middle school but even throughout high school.
Parental involvement comes in various forms – financial support, moral support, and active participation at home and in school. It is true that it comes with challenges like busy schedules, background, and other personal challenges. Yet, when parents put in the effort, it has positive impact and advantages. These include increased confidence and motivation for the child, as well as better parent-teacher relationship that benefits the child.
Being involved in your child’s education, as your circumstances allow, not only helps your child to achieve more academically, but it also lifts the teacher’s morale. And this makes the teacher more effective in carrying out his/her duties towards your child. In the end, these lead to a result that provides you with the satisfaction of making a difference in your child’s education. That satisfaction is worth any sacrifice you might have made.