I. Why is Parent Involvement Necessary? Module 1 of 4

Learning Objectives

  • Define Parent Involvement
  • Describe six types of parental involvement
  • List examples of parent involvement
  • Describe why parent involvement matters in the lives of children and in school improvement
Educators, authorities, and experts claim that our public education system is in the midst of a crisis. While they don't often agree on the solution, their prescriptions have one common ingredient: Family Engagement.

Watch this video and note reasons why parent engagement is important.

What is an "Involved" Parent?

When you think of parent involvement what comes to mind? Do involved parents share common characteristics? Do involved parents share similar activites that let you know they are involved? Are there times or periods of a child's life when a parent is more involved or is needed more?

Six Types of Parental Involvement

What are the Six types of Parental Involvement?

Parenting Support
According to Epstein's Six Types of Involvement, schools can offer support and assistance to parents to ensure that parents can create positive home environments that enable students to thrive and grow as students. For example, some parents need educational support to meet basic learning goals such as earning a GED or a high school diploma. Educators can also encourage parents to promote family literacy by spending time reading with children and setting a positive example of reading, which often inspires a love of reading in children. Assisting parents to build a strong home environment helps students develop respect for parents and positive personal values.
Facilitating Communication
Design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about school programs and children's progress. "Communications about school programs and student progress" to mean two-way, three-way, and many-way channels of communication that connect schools, families, students, and the community.
Encourage Volunteerism
Involving parents in children’s education typically has positive results. Teachers might solicit parent volunteers to help in the classroom with special projects, class field trips or other supportive roles. Parents can be a gold mine of talents and skills, which can help educators significantly in the process of teaching youngsters. If educators poll parents at the beginning of the school year to learn knowledge and abilities, as well as availability, everyone can benefit from parental volunteerism. Bringing parents into the school environment helps students learn how to communicate with adults and may give students more one-on-one attention.
Foster Home Learning
Students need a positive environment for home learning. Educators can help parents learn how to supervise homework, set up an effective place for students to work, communicate expectations for homework and support kids as they work on school work at home. Students often develop a more positive attitude about homework and improve test scores with an effective home learning environment.
Involve Parents in Decisions
Parents involved in school decisions and activities can play a vital role in achieving goals that help students. Parent organizations spearhead fundraisers that benefit the school and the students. Parental committees can be instrumental in school improvements that revitalize and focus energy on students. This type of parental involvement helps students to benefit by seeing a parental role in school decision-making and helps parents to advocate more effectively for student benefits.
Community Activities
Using Epstein's framework of Six Types of Involvement, schools can work cooperatively with communities for activities that strengthen and develop strong students. Recreational, cultural and athletic programs can provide important opportunities for students. Schools can promote and endorse these community activities to show parents the value and importance of these programs. Students receive expanded exposure to different experiences and opportunities, which could assist with choices in future education and careers.

Partnership Built on Relationships

Watch the following video and note the importance of relationship building for partnerships

Benefits of Effective Parent Engagement Programs

Students
  • Positive attitude towards school
  • Higher academic achievement
  • Higher quality homework
  • Positive perception of home-school connection
Parents
  • An understanding of how schools work
  • Learning of strategies to help their children be successful in school
  • Confidence in helping their children learn
  • Positive views of teachers and school
Teachers/School
  • Higher morale
  • Improvement in student achievement
  • Parental and community support for the school
Key Thoughts to Ponder
  • Do you make each parent feel welcome?
  • How can you adapt your home/school communication to meet the needs of all parents?
  • What can you do to create opportunities for parents to become more involved in their child's education?

Please take a moment to complete this brief survey to provide feedback and document your participation.

This concludes Module 1: Why is Parent Involvement Necessary?

Credits:

Created with images by jarmoluk - "apple education school" • mqnr - "blue" • BrianLockwood - "Working out Homework policy"

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