Is Engaging Parents in Their Children's Education a Major Factor in Turning Around Low-performing Schools?
The No Child Left Behind Law is a piece of legislation that put the educational ball back into the political game, but it is hardly the end of the debate as school reform is only part of the solution. There are many aspects, which need to be addressed, before the education crisis in America can be resolved. Identifying weakly performing schools is important as children need quality schools to acquire the education they must have to be successful; however, efforts also need to be directed toward revitalizing interest in education by teachers, students, and parents.
Involving parents in the educational process is always important, but the sad truth is that far too many mothers and fathers tend to overlook their children's educational needs outside of sending their kids to school. Unless parents involve themselves in their children's education and support education as a valuable tool, children cannot succeed while poorly performing schools will not improve.
Parents are truly their children's first teachers and, ultimately, they are the ones who have the greatest impact on shaping their children's behaviors and attitudes. Therefore, parents who emphasize the importance of education will have offspring who take on a similar attitude. Parents who enjoy learning will promote self-education at home through reading, writing, intellectual discussion, and other educational activities that orient their children to actively engage their education.
Reading to kids at young ages and helping them with their homework has already been demonstrated parental involvement results in better performance. Meanwhile, parents, who may not be particularly good at certain advanced subjects, can still support their older students by encouraging them to take harder classes and ensuring they finish their homework.
Furthermore, being directly involved in a child's education inspires teachers by demonstrating that teachers can make a difference. If teachers see their students are trying to do well in school and complete their assigned work, most teachers will be encouraged to actively engage those students and put forth the effort necessary to build a successful classroom.
Moreover, when teachers see parents are involved in their students' schoolwork, it demonstrates the community supports teachers and education. In turn, this support gives teachers a sense of importance and helps revitalizes their commitment to their profession. Meanwhile, it helps ensure the quality of education when teachers are aware that parents are watching for results.
On the other hand, the modern world, more often than not, leaves both parents to work jobs that go beyond forty hours a week, so being a parent is evermore challenging in a time when education is more important than ever. There are many parents who cannot sit down with their children when it is time for homework; therefore, at the very least, parents must take notice of their student doing his or her homework while looking for the child to do well in school.
Furthermore, it is understandable that not all parents are as well educated as they may need to be to understand their older child's school work, but showing the student education is important is what really counts. That said, a good education does not guarantee economic opportunity and success, so it is partially the parents' responsibility to show the significance of education beyond financial gain and to help their student find ways to turn education into financial success. Above all, educators alone cannot influence a child to love learning; parents must be involved.