5 Ways to Improve Parent Involvement in K-12 Education
Parental support and guidance are key contributors to a student’s motivation and engagement in school. When the primary social groups of a child—the school, family and community—work together, ThoughtCo reports that the child tends to do better in school, stay in school longer and enjoy the experience more. As a result, the likelihood of academic success dramatically increases. According to Dr. Mark Lombardi who is president of Maryville University: “Student success isn’t just the best measure of a highly successful education. It’s the only measure that matters.”
Student success relies heavily on the student’s attitude toward education. However, attitudes towards education such as confidence, emotional quotient, curiosity, and grit are all developed (at least partially) at home. The support and involvement of parents play a critical role in shaping a student’s attitude toward education, and in turn, the likelihood of attaining student success. Given this background, here are five ways that schools can help parents become more instrumental and involved in their children’s education.
Make information accessible
Technology has dramatically improved the way we communicate and the way we store data. Since most parents are busy with work and other responsibilities, it is best to employ a method wherein they can easily track and see their child’s progress. This will encourage families to become more involved and invested since it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to access information about their children. In the post ‘School Has to Take a Break, But Learning Doesn’t, it mentioned that you can let parents know about the topics being discussed in class, so they can integrate these topics into their conversations at home.
Make meetings convenient
Many parents are very busy, some even taking on multiple jobs to make ends meet. For busy families, making it to parent-teacher meetings at school is very difficult, and sometimes impossible. Fortunately, technology enables us to communicate without having to leave home or work. Through different applications such as Skype, the inconvenience of convening is taken out, making it easier for parents to get involved.
Communicate with families
The Medium discussed that lack of knowledge about school systems and processes serves as a barrier to active parental involvement. A lot of parents are not familiar with parent-teacher associations and their importance at school and do not know how to get involved. This issue can be quickly resolved through frequent communication, such as in the Snap! Connect app.
Collaborate with and include families
A child’s home is his first school. As the early teachers of their children, parents greatly appreciate it when schools include, consult with, or ask them for their input about specific projects or decisions. Collaborating with parents will not only ensure that everyone who contributes to a child’s learning is on the same page but also fosters a bond between the different parties involved.
Try different pedagogies
In a study conducted by researchers from Mauritius Institute of Education and Brunel University, it was found that the use of interactive websites and pedagogical frameworks that consider the involvement of parents in a student’s education effectively encouraged students to discuss school content with their parents. Not only do such teaching approaches provide an avenue for parents to communicate with their children, but they also give parents a lens into what their children are learning.
Parental involvement is important for the success of students. With the help of technology and active efforts from schools, parents can become an even bigger part of the educational lives of their children.
Article submitted for the exclusive use of SchoolCNXT (Now Snap! Connect)
By Gracie Kaye
Being a devoted mother of two athletic boys helped Gracie Kaye understand the needs and aspirations of the younger generation. She constantly balances her careers as a soccer mom, an online content creator, and an E-commerce business owner. During her spare time, Gracie binge-watches her all-time favorite show, Friends, on Netflix.