Help your children excel

Parental involvement in a child's education and training is crucial.

Parental involvement in a child's education and training is crucial.

Studies show that when parents are involved in their child's education, the child performs better at school.

Researchers have discovered that whenever parents are involved, as well as doing better in school, a child stays at school longer - and the school also becomes better.

The family makes a critical contribution to children's achievement from preschool through to high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to pupil achievement than income, education level or cultural background.

Reading is more dependent on learning activities in the home than is maths or science. Reading aloud to a child is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child's chance of reading success. Talking to a child about books and stories also supports reading achievement.

When parents and children talk regularly about school, children perform better.

Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher pupil achievement:

l Actively organising and monitoring a child's time;

l Helping with homework and discussing school matters;

l The earlier parent involvement begins in a child's educational process, the more powerful the effects are.

Positive results of parental involvement include improved pupil achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior and confidence.

Involvement can mean:

l Reading to your child;

l Checking homework every night;

l Discussing your child's progress with the teachers;

l Voting in school governing board elections;

l Helping your school to set challenging academic standards;

l Limiting television viewing on school nights;

l Becoming an advocate for better education in your community, province and country.

l Asking your child every day: "How was school today?"

That will send your child a clear message that their school work is important to you and you expect them to learn.

Some parents and families are able to be involved in their child's education in many ways. Others may only have time for one or two activities.

But whatever the parents involvement, it must be consistent and you must stick with it. It will make a very important difference in your child's life. - National Education Association