If you are like many parents, you probably look forward to the 2021-22 school year as a return to normalcy. After all, most students should have their vaccinations before class starts again in August or September.
However, please don’t think that you can load your little ones on the bus and breathe a sigh of relief. Children will need your help transitioning back to the classroom now more than ever. Plus, you can reap the following five benefits of parental involvement in schools even when you aren’t recovering from a pandemic.
1. Students Perform Better Academically
Regardless of how you feel about them, standardized tests are unlikely to go away anytime soon. According to research published in the National Institutes of Health, you can increase your child’s chances of earning a high score through parental involvement.
This study indicated that increased parental involvement raises your child’s perception of their cognitive competence. The conventional wisdom holds — if your little one thinks that they can do something, they stand a better chance of accomplishing it.
Does this mean that you have to attend class with your child on test day? No, but it might not hurt to observe their class and offer extra help when you have time. Contact their school to make arrangements.
2. Attendance Improves Considerably
Your child can’t effectively learn if they don’t attend class. One benefit of parental involvement in schools is eliminating those disruptions stemming from truancy.
Everyone gets sick sometimes, and you should follow expert guidelines for when to keep your child home. However, students with frequent absences cause academic problems for their classmates and themselves.
Their teacher often has to spend time reviewing information already covered. While some learners benefit from the additional review, others who have already mastered the material can tune out from boredom.
3. Behavioral Issues Decrease
Imagine if you reported to work and had to deal with distractions like your colleagues shooting spitballs in your hair. How much do you think you’d accomplish amidst the chaos?
Classroom management issues can destroy the educational experience. Your child’s teacher can prepare the world’s best lesson, but your student won’t get much out of it if they can barely hear it over the din.
Parental interest and encouragement foster improved classroom conduct, making it easier for your child and everyone else to learn. Even your presence can improve things. Each additional adult body in the room has a calming effect.
You can also learn considerable empathy for your child from occasionally observing their class. For example, if you are one of many parents who laments that your little one behaves differently at school and home, consider the varying environments. Your child’s teacher might be quicker with rewards and consequences — could borrowing their tips make your evenings more peaceful?
4. Students and Teachers Feel More Secure
There’s no substitute for adult presence. Any teacher who has ever run a field trip can tell you that extra responsible parties increase their comfort level. After all, their eyes can only see in one direction at a time. When educators aren’t distracted by protecting their student’s safety, they can engage more fully in their lessons.
Students, too, feel more secure with extra adult attention. It’s one reason why smaller classrooms often bolster higher test scores. According to the Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) study, reducing class size from 22 to 15 students increased student achievement equivalent to three additional months of schooling, even four years later.
You don’t have to spend every day in your child’s classroom. However, as a parent, you can attend school board meetings and advocate for smaller class sizes and more aides.
5. Attitudes Toward Learning Improve
Your child imitates what you do more than they follow what you say. If you give lip service to the value of education when speaking to them but dismiss “book learning” when you chat with friends, your kids will notice.
However, if you adopt an attitude that learning is fun, your child will follow suit. Encourage their exploration of the world outside of the classroom if you hope to inspire their participation in their lessons. Take them to the museum on a Saturday and see how many different plants you can identify on the grounds.
Even your television viewing choices make a difference. While everyone needs mindless entertainment sometimes, you can also watch documentaries together and discuss what you learn.
Parental Involvement in Schools Has Multiple Benefits
Parental involvement in school has multiple benefits. The five tips above should inspire you to take more charge of your child’s education.