Parent Involvement Suggestions
In a concise report from the Michigan Department of Education entitled, What Research Says About Parent Involvement in Children’s Education, a number of helpful suggestions are provided that address how to develop strong parental involvement in the educational process. The following statements summarize some of these suggestions:
- Even though many parents may be unable to help students with their homework, or other aspects of their education, there are many opportunities for home learning activities, which provide a wide range of experiences for the children to learn important skills. This also provides the parent with opportunities to be models for and to guide their children (Roberts, 1992).
- Practicing at home is helpful for the students’ success. With the encouragement of school personnel, practicing reading at home has been found to lead to significant gains in reading when compared to students who only practice reading at school (Tizard, J., Schofield, W. N., & Hewison, J. (1982).
- There are many ways that parents can provide guidance to their children, including reading to their children, taking trips, monitoring TV watching, and providing stimulating activities (Sattes, 1985).
In addition, the Michigan report provided information describing families whose children demonstrate school success. Some of the characteristics of these families were described in the following statements (Henderson, 1987).
- Establish a daily family routine.
Some family routines may include household chore assignments, family dinners, firm bedtime, and a quiet place for studying.
- Monitor out-of-school activities.
Restricting television watching, making arrangements for supervised care and after school activities, and maintaining close watch over children when parents are not home.
- Model the value of learning, self-discipline and hard work.
Communicating frequently about the importance of hard work for accomplishing achievements.
- Express high but realistic expectations for achievements.
Recognizing developmentally appropriate goals for children that are challenging, but not overly frustrating. Encouraging special talents, and sharing successes with family friends.
- Encourage children’s development/progress in school.
Frequently contacting teachers, maintaining a home environment that is supportive for children’s progress, recognizing school accomplishments, helping with homework, and frequently discussing the importance of a good education, leading to well-chosen careers.
- Encourage reading, writing, and discussions among family members.
Reading and writing experiences at home support those activities at school. Listening to children read, then talking about the content helps the children experience reading competency.