National Parental Involvement Day seems kind of like Mother’s Day. I mean, we should show Mom we love her everyday, right? But, I’m not complaining that we’ve set aside a day to recognize the importance - of both.
It is no secret that parental involvement plays a large role in the academic success of our children. According to the vast amount of research out there, in the early years, parental involvement has a significant impact on children’s cognitive development and literacy and number skills. Furthermore, parental involvement in a child’s schooling for a child between the ages of 7 and 16 is a more powerful force than family background, size of family and level of parental education.
Some school districts are recognizing how important the role of the parent is, and are even including parental involvement in their metrics to measure school effectiveness. For example, New York City schools will soon be rated based on how well they work with parents. This was announced a few weeks ago as NYC schools embark upon an overhaul of how they engage with families.
As a former teacher, I can tell you first hand that parental involvement is not only important – but it is essential to student success. It’s more than showing up for conferences and plays and helping with homework. It’s more about demonstrating to our children that learning is not confined to the classroom. It’s about supporting the learning that happens in the classroom in real and relevant ways. Most teachers will agree with that statement. I believe that the vast majority of parents truly want to help their kids. However ,there are a many real reasons why some aren’t as connected to the school as they should be (i.e., time, language barriers, job constraints, etc.). Overcoming the obstacles is a two-way street. Parents need to reach out to teachers, and teachers need to make sure that parents have the resources they need to be involved. Just as “one size does not fit all” with our students, the same applies to parents. With National Parental Involvement Day on the horizon (November 17), maybe it is a good time for all of us to find one thing that we can do to improve parental involvement within our educational organization. Maybe, if everyone does one thing to make a difference, we will. What do we have to lose…. well, except the academic success of our kids?
If parental involvement is a priority at your school or organization, tell us how you’re addressing it. We’d love to hear from you.
Schoodoodle.com carries a wide selection of resources designed to help parents support the learning process at home. Browse our Parental Involvementresources, as well as resources for home school kids, early childhood learning materials, and learning games for kids.