Involved parents: The hidden resource in their children's education by Anita Gurian, Ph.D.
Although parents conscientiously send their children off to school every day and expect them to do well, they can add an important extra ingredient that will boost their children's success. Parent participation is the ingredient that makes the difference. Parents' active involvement with their child's education at home and in school brings great rewards and has can have a significant impact on their children's child's lifvese. According to research studies, the children of involved parents: •
are absent less frequently
do better academically from pre-school through high school •
go farther in school
go to better schools
Research also shows that a home environment that encourages learning is even more important than parents' income, education level, or cultural background. By actively participating in their child's education at home and in school, parents send some critical messages to their child; they're demonstrating their interest in his/her activities and reinforcing the idea that school is important. Becoming involved – laying the groundwork in the elementary school years The reality is that some parents have more time than others to become involved, but it's important for even very busy parents to examine their priorities and carve out some time, even if it's brief. Some schools are working out more flexible schedules so that working parents have more options. The National Education Association recommends some specific ways for parents to become more involved in their child's education. At home:
Read to your child — reading aloud is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child's chance of reading success •
Discuss the books and stories you read to your child
Help your child organize his/her time
Limit television viewing on school nights
Talk to your child regularly about what's going on in school •...
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