The role of family in a kid’s education matters a lot. Studies show when families join in good ways, it helps kids do better in many ways. When schools and families work as partners, students do well in school, handle feelings okay, and get along with others. According to the Department of Education, students with involved parents or guardians are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores and enroll in higher-level programs. Families being involved means schools and families both know they help kids succeed.
By fostering relationships of trust and respect, teachers and parents can help each other to support students in being their best. In this article, let’s take a closer look at how students succeed when families are involved together.
The Profound Impact of Family Involvement on Education
When families get actively involved in their child’s education, it makes a huge difference. Study after study shows that kids do way better in school when their family is engaged and invested. The evidence is crystal clear on this.
What do I mean by families being engaged? I’m talking about parents and caregivers doing things like attending school events, communicating with teachers, helping with homework, reading together at home, and talking about what kids are learning. When families take an active role, the benefits for students are incredible.
Just look at what the research shows. Students have higher test scores and grades when their families participate. They show up to class more often and are way more motivated to learn. High school dropout rates are lower too. The impact is evident – children thrive when their families actively participate in their education.
In short, the family’s engagement provides huge benefits for kids, parents, and teachers. By working together, families and schools can reinforce learning and promote student achievement. To further support learning at home, families can utilize resources of online tutor companies which provide personalized instruction and subject matter expertise beyond what schools offer.
Advantages For Students When Families Get Involved
There are so many advantages for students when families get involved:
- Better grades and test results
- Higher graduation rates
- Improved attendance
- Better behavior and people skills
- More communication between parents and kids
- A school environment where everyone feels happy
The following pie chart breaks down the key ways parents contribute to their children’s academic and personal growth.
Data Source: Pew Research Center
And get this – family engagement also improves the relationships between parents and teachers. When families and schools work together as partners, it creates an atmosphere of teamwork and understanding.
Teachers feel more satisfied, and everyone can focus on helping students be successful. The following pie chart breaks down the key ways parents contribute to their children’s academic and personal growth.
Understanding Family Engagement:
What does family engagement entail? It goes beyond parents merely being involved in school activities. True engagement means that families and schools share responsibility for student learning, behavior, and success.
Some opportunities for families to contribute include:
- Volunteering to assist in the classroom, library, cafeteria, school trips, or other areas
- Joining the PTA or other school committees focused on fundraising, safety, diversity, etc.
- Reading together at home to build literacy skills and instill a love of learning
- Having regular conversations about the school day and classes to reinforce lessons
- Encouraging positive attitudes towards school and learning
- Maintaining open communication with teachers through parent-teacher conferences, emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings
- Participating in school events like open houses, science fairs, concerts, and sports games
- Helping children with homework by reviewing assignments, answering questions, and ensuring completion
However, family engagement does not require in-class involvement. Supporting learning at home through conversations about the school day, checking completed homework, and setting high expectations are also key. The balance between in-school and at-home engagement depends on each family’s unique circumstances.
The emphasis should be on schools and families working together, with clear communication and understanding of expectations on both sides. This partnership is at the heart of family engagement.
The Direct Link Between Family Engagement and Student Success
Decades of research from early childhood through high school confirm the direct correlation between family engagement and student achievement, attitudes, and well-being.
Some key findings that highlight this link include:
- Students with highly involved parents have higher test scores and grades across all subject areas including reading, math, and science.
- Parental involvement during the early childhood years was positively associated with greater math and reading skills at kindergarten entry.
- Students whose families regularly discussed school at home and participated in school activities had significantly higher standardized test scores compared to peers whose families were less involved.
- Teens whose parents monitor their academic progress and communicate with teachers are more likely to pass classes and exams required for graduation.
- Parent engagement in middle and high school is linked to lower rates of student substance abuse, violence, and risky sexual behaviors.
A study in the National Library of Medicine identified parental involvement as one of the strongest predictors of high academic performance, regardless of socioeconomic or racial/ethnic background.
These results demonstrate that students benefit across the board when families are actively engaged in their education. By building strong school-family partnerships based on mutual trust and respect, educators and parents can reinforce lessons and support student success into the future.
Addressing the Challenges of Family Engagement
While parental involvement is crucial, schools must recognize potential barriers families face. Parents may be unable to engage due to:
- Rigid work schedules or multiple jobs
- Lack of transportation
- Language barriers
- Unfamiliarity with the education system
Societal issues like poverty, racism, unemployment, and health disparities also affect engagement. To overcome this, schools must ensure initiatives are inclusive and sensitive to families’ needs. Engagement strategies should be tailored based on:
- Parents’ education levels
- English proficiency
- Economic status
- Cultural background
No single approach works for all. Meet families where they are by offering translated materials, interpreters, rides to school events, flexible meeting times, and more. Every family has something valuable to contribute when given the opportunity.
The Role of School Administrators in Promoting Family Engagement
School leaders play a pivotal role in initiating and sustaining family engagement. Some steps administrators can take include:
- Welcoming families and establishing personal contact early in the year
- Hosting events like open houses to connect families to teachers
- Facilitating parent-teacher conferences and meetings
- Sending regular communications like newsletter or texts
- Promoting volunteering opportunities Providing staff training on family engagement strategies
- Tracking participation rates among families
Proactive administrators foster a culture where parental involvement is a top priority, not an afterthought. They advocate for engagement policies at the district and state levels. This high-level commitment empowers teachers and families to work together as partners for student success.
Parental involvement is one of the greatest drivers of student success. But it requires commitment from both families and schools. By embracing a partnership built on trust, communication, and the shared goal of helping children thrive, schools and families can work powerfully together to enrich learning and unlock every child’s potential. This collaboration is at the heart of effective family engagement, leading to positive outcomes that benefit students, parents, teachers, and schools alike.
Frequently Asked Questions on Parental Partnerships
1.How can schools address barriers to family engagement like work schedules?
Strategies include scheduling school events on weekends, offering virtual or recorded meetings, and providing transportation where possible. Accommodating families’ needs builds engagement.
2.What are effective ways for teachers to build relationships with families?
Frequent communication, greeting families warmly, active listening, and facilitating two-way dialogue build trust and mutual understanding. Appreciating families’ perspectives is key.
3.How can schools use technology to enhance family engagement?
Digital communication tools like email, texts, and online portals allow seamless contact between teachers and families. Social media groups also enable ongoing collaboration.