Parental Involvement in Learning
Whether children attend public or private schools, they benefit when parents become involved in their education. According to the National Institute for Literacy, when parents or other family members frequently read to children entering kindergarten, those children were at a distinct advantage over children whose families read to them less often.
The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that "Children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading than children who were read to less than three times a week." The study also found that, of children who were read to at least three times a week,
Similarly, students who discussed their studies and who talked about reading at home had greater reading proficiency than those who did not. And students of all ages who regularly saw parents and other family members reading at home were positively influenced.
In addition to having a variety of reading materials available at home, discussing reading, and setting a good example by reading, there are a number of ways that parents can create and nurture a home learning environment. Although the Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) program from the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University is directed to teachers, it includes a number of excellent strategies that parents can implement to become active in their children's education.
Communicate: Regularly communicate with the teacher, either via parent-teacher conferences, weekly progress reviews, or homework reviews. Talk with the child, and have them share their schoolwork and school day experiences.
Volunteer: Volunteer to help out in the classroom or at other school activities.
Home Learning: Point out the links between schoolwork and real life situations. Go on family outings that reinforce the concepts being learned in school.
According to the National Education Association, parental involvement in learning is crucial. As evidence, they cite the following findings of research into parental involvement:
Brent Sitton is the founder of DiscoveryJourney.com. DiscoveryJourney has a variety of tools available to help parents with their home learning efforts. Our children's book reviews identify character trait and child behavior issues in the book. Each children's book review contains 5 related fun and educational child activities to enjoy as a family, inspiring the passion for learning and reading!
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