Does Parent Involvement Make a Difference in Child Success?(by Guest Writer Jen Churchill)

Introduction

IMG_7634 (1)My name Is Jennifer. I am a mother of a kindergartener and often am concerned with the level of involvement I produce in regards to her education. I had been thinking of volunteering in My daughters class room  but couldn’t fine the time and motivation to really get involved. When The service learning requirement of this class presented itself I decided it was the perfect time!

After doing plenty of research, volunteering in the classroom, and really making time at home to be more involves in homework, I have found that this really is a crucial part of my child’s, and any child’s education. I think that schools need to try just a little better to encourage parent involvement in the classroom and welcome all types of parents to do so. I have written a letter to the Vancouver school district and Have started a blog that will directly correlate with my involvement and how it really effects my child and our family.

Note: Link to Jen’s Blog here.

 The Public Writing

June 4, 2013

Vancouver School District

2901 Falk Rd #102

Vancouver, WA 98661

 

Dear Teachers,

I am writing to encourage each of you to continue working to meet the needs of each of your students. I know at times, you might feel discouraged but remember why you are doing what you are doing. You have one of the greatest jobs and can really make a difference in our community. What you do in your classrooms will continue to shape our futures. I hope you feel a great sense of pride in the work that you do, and remember that what you do every day has the power to effect many generations.

As a Parent I am well aware of the importance of my involvement in my child’s education. I want us all to realize that each student and their family bring unique backgrounds and experiences. While I would hope for each parent to be involved within the classroom, there are possible barriers they may come across along the way. In various cultures, parents trust teachers to act in the best interest of their children, and therefore, are not as involved within the classroom. It is your responsibility to find ways of building relationships, and learning about the cultures represented in our schools.  Also, many of your students and their families may not speak English. When wishing to communicate with these parents, you need to find acceptable ways of doing this. I would encourage you to steps to work with your school and community to find individuals to translate during your interactions with these parents. Parents want to know that you care about our children and finding ways to engage our families is one way of doing this.

I know first hand that another issue hindering parental involvement is time. Many parents work multiple jobs simply to keep the lights on within their homes, or are full time students themselves. These parents may not have as much free time available for school activities. One thing you can do, however, is schedule meetings, and activities at times that are more convenient for the parents in your classroom, be flexible.  Even though all parents may not be able to attend all school activities, make sure you make some effort to communicate with them. Phone calls and E-mails should not only be used to inform parents of something negative that occurred in the classroom but for positive communication as well.  Call parents to share classroom triumphs, or simply to inform them of new and exciting activities you have planned.

I would like for you to remember there are various types of parental involvement. Your student’s parents don’t have to be at the school every week to show that they care. The fact that they make sure their children are at school every day, and make sure their children do their homework are some ways parents are involved. We cannot forget all the things parents are doing to encourage their child’s success in school.

If you want more parents to be involved, make sure you let us know all the things they can do at home that help within the classroom. Get to know your student’s families and our backgrounds and make sure we feel welcome within the school.

Teachers, I know you already have a great deal of work to do; however you must find ways of encouraging parental involvement for the success of our students. I want to truly thank you for all that you do and hope you know that I am writing this as a parent who cares deeply for the success of not only my child but our entire community and beyond.

Sincerely yours,

Jennifer Churchill

 

The Research Question & Collection

Research Question: Does parent involvement really make a difference I the success of a child?

Note: The research collection was developed in response to the above research question.

1. ŞAD, Süleyman Nihat, and Oğuz GÜRBÜZTÜRK. “Primary School Students’ Parents’ Level of Involvement into Their Children’s Education.” Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice. 13.2 (2013): 1006-011. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 June 2013.  This articles purpose was to investigate the extent to which parents of elementary students participate in their children’s education in different ways. The research used 1252 parents whose children were in 1st to 5th grade classes of several primary schools in Malatya province. The Parental Involvement Scale was used to collect data. As a result of the analysis, it was found out that parents’ level of involvement was high for such tasks as communication with children, creating enabling home settings, supporting child’s personality development, and helping with homework, but low especially for volunteering. Also mothers were found to support their children’s homework significantly more than fathers. The article touched on how families’ monthly income was found to be positively and moderately associated especially with involvement tasks of supporting child’s socio-cultural development and creating enabling home settings, and negatively and moderately with volunteering.

2. Elish-Piper, Laurie Nihat. “Parent Involvement in Reading.” Illinois Reading Council Journal. 41.3 (2013): 56-59. Acedemic Search Premier. Web. 1 June 2013.  The article discusses the role of parents in their children’s literacy development and academic successes. It offers suggestions to promote parent communication, involvement, and relationships with teachers. It looks on linking home and school to address the Core State Standards in writing, speaking and listening, and language in the English Language Arts curriculum. It also outlines several ways for parents to support their children’s learning at home.

3. Mo, Yun, and Kusum Singh. “Parents’ Relationships and Involvement: Effects on Students’ School Engagement and Performance.” Research in Middle Level Education Online. 31.10 (2008): 1-11. Acedemic Search Premier. Web. 1 June 2013.  This article focuses on parents’ relationships and involvement in their children’s lives and the effects on the students’ school performance. They did the study on seventh and eighth grade students’ school and family experiences by analyzing using structural equation modeling. The study in the article examined the effect of parents’ relationships and involvement on students’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral engagement in school and subsequently on school performance. The results confirmed the importance of parents’ involvement in students’ school engagement and performance.

 

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One comment

  1. Jen! Really liked your topic. I think it is really important to volunteer period. But volunteering in the lives of our children is so important. Being a part of their support system is so crucial.
    I can understand this because my parents were very apathetic and never involved. This caused me to be apathetic about school, skip school, and get my GED because I disliked school so much.
    I remember seeing the kids whose parents were involved and they always had a higher success rate in school.
    I think you did a very good job answering your question, of if it really matters. Even from just a personal point of view, I can say that yes, it does!
    Children need support, and family is normally the biggest support system a person can have. It is so important that the parents get involved. I’m glad you took this avoided, and not so talked about issue and brought it to light. hopefully it will get others’ thinking about their own children’s schooling, and the support they provide for them.

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