the role of the family in the child's education

The role of the family in children's education: 10 reasons to involve parents in school or kindergarten activities


11 October, 2022

Research in education and psychology demonstrates the positive impact of family involvement in children's education on their development in key areas such as academic, social, emotional and even professional. 

Parental engagement in education has been studied extensively for decades, with increasing attention being paid in recent years. More recently, studies have focused on the purpose and roles of family engagement in key service sectors for children and young people. Advances in brain science, the use of precise research methods, and the inclusion of diverse populations are influencing strategies for family engagement in education, child welfare, juvenile justice, health, mental health, and behavioral health systems.

As both a parent and a teacher, you can truly support your child's education by creating a developmentally supportive learning environment both at home and in the classroom. You can also do this by involving families more and more in school community activities.
 
Research shows clear results: parent and family engagement leads to better outcomes for pupils. Here are 10 major benefits of a healthy school-family partnership:

 1.Better learning results

The stronger the relationship between parental engagement and children's education, the more likely they are to achieve better grades and test scores.

A study of 71 elementary schools aimed at improving the academic skills of low-income students is a perfect example. When teachers met face-to-face with parents, sent home helpful materials, or talked over the phone about specific child challenges, children's scores improved in both reading and math.

In a longitudinal study of 200 Chicago public elementary schools (Anthony S. Bryk, 2010), it was shown that schools with strong family involvement were 10 times more likely to improve students' academic progress.

Furthermore, the National Center for Family & Community Connections with School found that students with involved parents achieved academic success regardless of income or background. This means that parents should be especially intentional about getting involved in their children's education.
 

 "Parental involvement, in almost any form, produces measurable gains in student achievement"
- Armendia Dixon (1992)

 2.Reducing absenteeism

According to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, many parents don't understand the consequences of their child missing school and tend to underestimate the value of the number of school days their child has missed.

Because absenteeism can affect children's immediate and future academic performance, it is important for parents to be involved and aware of how much their children are missing from school.

Education policy researchers Carly Robinson and Minoca Lee and psychologists Eric Dearing and Todd Rogers conducted a study of 10,900 families in which schools mailed six reminders about the importance of attendance throughout the year. The results showed that students in the 6,500 families who received reminders missed 8% fewer days of school. Amazingly, mailings to families with the lowest attendance correlated with a 15% reduction in absenteeism.

Today, communication channels have evolved and parents can collaborate much more easily with teachers and school managers. Kinderpedia supports this communication, and with a single click you can send messages and even alerts outlining special situations.

3. Improving social skills and adaptability

Numerous studies indicate that parental engagement in education has strong and positive effects on children's classroom behavior and improved social skills. Thus, in an extensive analysis, the non-profit organization Education Northwest found that parental involvement leads to improved attitudes and social behavior in students. This early partnership can even help children adjust better from the first days of school or kindergarten.

Parents are the main role models and we already know that from a very young age, they imitate everything they see in people close to them. So, if parents show interest and proactivity in their relationship with the school, this will also show in their children's involvement.

Studies show that celebrating small achievements brings major benefits. The same impact could be seen at school level, and celebrating successes with families could increase the involvement and proactivity of all members. When families spend time having fun together, they create strong bonds and build a foundation of mutual trust.

4. Graduation and continuity in the educational process

In addition to the above benefits, over 45 years of research has consistently shown that parental involvement in education contributes to higher graduation rates - regardless of income, race or ethnicity. Evidence shows that when parents are involved in their children's education, school success rates increase. School success, in this case, includes fewer students repeating lower grades, lower dropout rates, higher rates of on-time high school graduation and greater participation in school activities.

Evidence shows that the risk of dropping out is much higher during transitions between school years. This can be mitigated by effective school-family partnership intervention and increased parental attention during these stages of adaptation and adjustment.

5. Well-defined roles and tasks: efficiency and well-being

Studies have highlighted the vital roles and functions that families from all cultures and backgrounds can play in supporting the development and success of their children and young people. Ongoing research is essential to advance implementation, continuous improvement, and adoption of public policies that involve families. These practices have a major impact on the lives of children and youth in diverse systems and communities.

Thus, by effectively involving all members of a community, by setting common roles, tasks and goals, impacting individuals and then the whole group, an atmosphere of well-being and motivation can be enhanced for all those involved in the partnership, whether teachers, managers, parents or students.

6. Reducing risk behavior among children

Once they feel part of a close-knit community, young people engage in fewer high-risk behaviors, especially when their parents are actively involved in their lives. These health risk behaviors include smoking (Wang, Storr, Green, Zhu, Stuart, Landsman, & Ialongo, 2012), drinking alcohol, starting sexual activity early (Guilamo-Ramos, Bouris, Jaccard, Gonzalez, McCoy, & Aranda, 2011), and using certain objects as weapons.

In addition to avoiding health risk behaviors, family involvement can increase participation in positive health behaviors for children, such as consistent physical activity (Haerens, De Bourdeaudhuij, & Maes, 2007) and cheat improving educational outcomes, as discussed above.

7. Connecting all educational actors

Connected Children. Family involvement helps children feel connected to their teachers, their own families, their communities of friends and peers. Children who are connected feel safe, supported and ready to learn. 

Connected parents. Family involvement even helps parents feel engaged and connected to their children's lives and activities. When adults are involved and feel supported by schools and other institutions, they feel more prepared to support their child's school and the whole process.

Connected schools and institutions. When schools and other institutions connect and engage with parents and children, they gain valuable information and data about what families need and how their programmes and policies work for them and for the whole local community. 

8. Connecting lesson content to students' knowledge, interests and culture

When connections are made between the subject of a lesson and the students' everyday experiences, their interest increases and new information can be more easily understood.

There is plenty of brain research to explain why this happens. When students think about something they already know, the neurons in their brains become active. These neurons make it easier for other neurons to fire and form new neural pathways. Pathways connect new information with old information in the brain. In other words, "neurons that fire together, connect together". By linking new learning to old learning, it is easier for learners to learn and retain new information. 

Thus, involving families in children's education can enhance their knowledge of passions, relevant experiences, as well as their existing knowledge base, which would support learning new concepts in the classroom.

9. The school-family partnership supports tailored interventions for each family

Collaboration between school and parents allows - at community level - assistance and interventions tailored to the needs of each family. Thus, working collaboratively increases the likelihood of identifying a family's unique needs and developing relevant and socio-culturally appropriate plans and services that are responsive to needs, build on family strengths, build on community support, and use resources more effectively, consistently (Doolan, 2005). 

As long as there is open communication between all those involved, real problems can be identified much more easily, ways of overcoming crisis situations can be found, support tools can be found, and possible unforeseen events in the future can to some extent be anticipated and prevented.

10. Involved parents impact on their children's future work performance

The Global Family Research Project report, Carnegie New York, (2018), highlights the power that engaging families, schools and the wider community has on children's development, professional and personal lives. The study highlights that family involvement in education is one of the key predictors of a child's success in school and in life. 

The findings underline the idea that local partnerships between schools, families and institutions are 'innovation laboratories', providing cases and experiences for capacity building and professional development and, when linked effectively, can accelerate change. This not only helps to shape a clearer and better educational pathway for children, but helps the whole community through better practice for generations to come.

 
There is a direct link between the degree of parental engagement in a child's education and motivation, academic success and educational behavior. Although we live in such a fast-paced world and time is no longer patient, with a little planning, shared goals and effective management, we will indeed find the opportunity to provide our children with the right support in their educational journey. 

Parents and teachers can do amazing things together and it would be good to communicate and collaborate to create a prosperous future for the child. No one is more interested in the well-being and success of children than their parents and, of course, teachers, who are always proud to hear about the success of a student or former student.

How does Kinderpedia support family engagement in a child's education?

Technology is there to support learning.  On the one hand by making it easier to access anywhere and anytime using digital tools such as tablets, smartphones, computers and more, and on the other by facilitating communication between teachers and parents.
Through edtech platforms - such as Kinderpedia - parents find out in real time how their little ones' day at school or nursery went: from attendance, mood, participation, to how much they ate and slept, in the case of younger children. When they are aware of their children's projects and progress at school, parents can continue the educational process at home and support their children where they need it.
Technology creates the environment for a partnership between school and family and puts the pupil-teacher-parent collaboration right at the heart of learning.

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