A fundamental doctrine of today’s education system is parents should be actively involved in their child’s education.
The list may include volunteering at school, meeting teachers, or helping them with their homework, among hundreds of other things. The issue parents face here is that they seldom get such time to accommodate all of it, and their work commitments make it more difficult.
It is so primitively engraved in our heads that we seldom ask or protest against this seeming norm.
The Current Situation
Studies suggest that parental involvement does not affect the academic achievements of their children.
Parents taking time to discuss the child’s college plans, helping them with homework, or volunteering at their schools have no connection with improvement in academic performance.
Regardless of the parent’s level of education, class, or race, their involvement seldom yields any dividend. You helping your son with his studies may not help him fetch a higher score on standardized tests. Quite the opposite happens in most cases. Children in middle school, having parental help with homework, may score lower in tests. This may be because the parent has forgotten what they have learned or does not understand it.
Many common interventions such as
- Following the child’s class
- Choosing the high-school courses for teenagers
- Punishing the children for bad marks
- Setting time for homework
are often found to be useless. These uncalled butt ins may lead children to become anxious about schools and education as a whole. Parents may engage the children in conversations to discuss parental involvement. It helps you understand their thought processes and needs.
The Socio-Economic Factor
The conventional wisdom that parents not looking after their child’s education leads to the bad performance of the poor children in school is not true. Studies suggest that the parents with differing levels of education, class, or race all make their children understand the importance of education. It is also common for them to discuss the next level of education, like going to college.
Parents with better financial resources often expose their children to better educational resources. They put their children in social settings and neighborhoods, where they connect with numerous college-educated adults with riveting careers.
The surrounding kids from the upper-middle-class background have lawyers, doctors, and engineers in their families. It automatically imparts the importance of a good education.
The interesting exception is the behavior of Asian parents. At a time when they are poor, they still advocate the need for a good education. Although their condition may not approve them to provide a social setting like others, they still instill the importance of education.
The Parental Involvement
Parents engage more often in their child’s education than they should do. They try to help their children with various subjects, even if they have low or no understanding.
Parents try to ease the burden of the workload that their children face. They help their children seek answers for homework assignments that they are not able to do by themselves. But at times, they get stuck with providing the solution. Seeking help from professional tutors may be an option to get a better resolution at a shorter time.
Some too-involved or potentially powerful parental involvements may include:
- Hiring a tutor at home
- Opting services of a therapist for struggling kids
- Helping open a college savings account
Regardless of their socio-economic conditions, parents go to great lengths to identify the perfect school for their children.
With the strong belief in their minds, they try to recruit or place their children under the guidance of teachers who have a good reputation. A teacher’s reputation is one of the most important aspects that many parents consider as an essential ingredient for quality education.
The Final Verdict
The above findings may help comfort the anxious parents, who are struggling to find time to attend the various volunteer activities by the schools. The schools regularly organize parent-teacher meetings or PTMs, forum discussions, play days, and fun fares to get the parents more involved with their kids.
However, if the PTMs value scores above everything else, it does not make much sense for your child’s growth. The presence of various co-curricular activities may help build more traction for the schools among the children.
After-school music, dance, or theatre club may help them open up and relax a bit. The inclusion of more sports time in the weekly class schedule can help balance the stress.
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