Research indicates that parental involvement is associated with increased academic outcomes for students. parent involvement generally benefits childrens and adolescents learning and academic success (Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler, 1997, p. 3). Greenwood and Hickman (1991), report that achievement, sense of well-being, students attitudes, attendance, homework readiness, grades, and educational aspirations are all positively impacted by parental involvement. Gonzalez-DeHaus, Willems, and Holbein, (2005), report that parental involvement is also directly related to student motivation, perceived value of education, and low high school drop out rates. (pp. 100). The question is not if parental involvement positively impacts academic outcomes for students, the question is how can schools support and build partnerships with parents?
Schools have a duty to bring parents on board and help students do well more so those students affected emotionally with home affairs. Its therefore prudent for the schools to seek the indulgence of the parents into the academics of their children in a way that do not compromise their professionalism as well as interfere with the parents programs (Hickman, 1997). Schools should design, outline and develop learning partnership strategies that are appropriate for parents of the students at different ages and stages of development. They should also find the most efficient and effective ways of demonstrating significant concepts or processes that supports parents to work with their children to realize their dreams.
Parental involvement in the academics of their children is not new. Parents have always helped their children to concentrate, cooperate and respect their teachers. In this paper, I will review the manner in which schools can support and build strong partnership with parents.
Review of the Literature
Clarifying Parent Involvement and Family-School Partnership Intervention Research: A Preliminary Synthesis is an article used to understand and evaluate parent partnerships and measuring the effectiveness of parent involvement. Parental Involvement in Childrens Education: Why Does it Make a Difference? Examines why parents choose to become involved. In aiding the understanding of this preliminary synthesis, I will treat Schools support for Partnership with Parents as my big idea and elucidate factors such as restructuring schools to support parents involvement, tapping external supports for partnerships and overcoming time and resource constraints that makes it possible to impact the lives of students.
Restructuring schools to support parents involvement
Without proper information and skills to communicate, distrust and misperceptions may flourish among parents and the school. School should come up with initiatives bridging the gap of information between parents and school personnel (Maria Fishel, 2005). This can be done through various workshops, handbooks, home visits and informative newsletters. With this strategy in place, parents and school staff learn to trust each other and join hands in ensuring the success of the students. The extent to which the parents are engaged in the schooling of their children and the likelihood of sustaining that engagement depends on how they perceive themselves as not only actors but also great contributors to the education of their children (Hoover-Dempsey, 1997).
Schools have an obligation to ensure that parents partner with them in pursuing the academic dreams of their children. Schools should make constant contacts with parents very early in the year when schools are reopening. This should be done in a manner that the schools create an environment that welcomes the parents into their classroom. By doing this the parents will feel highly welcomed and motivated to take part in the academics of their children directly through the help of their respective teachers (Lucila Ramirez, 2005).
Tapping external supports for partnerships.
External support is very effective for partnerships in schools. A lot of Title I schools nourish and strengthen their partnerships through trapping the support they find available in the local communities. The society provides collaborative efforts that provides parents and schools with the necessary tools that the duo require to support learning. This can be in the form of businesses, healthcare alongside other service agencies such as colleges and institutions of higher learning. This captures the support provided by the districts and state. Note that the reauthorisation of the Title 1 in 1994 by congress made it lucid that the involvement of parent in district, state and school levels should be viewed to be very crucial for the success of the children (Maria Fishel and Lucila Ramirez, 2005). External support at times provide information and training for both parents and school staff members for the betterment of their partnership.
Overcoming time and resource constraints.
Building strong partnership requires that the parents and school staff members needs time to familiarize themselves. This helps them get to know each other as they plan effectively how they will work as a unit to improve student learning. Many research studies still holds on Epsteins activity based categories on the construction of the parental involvement in the schools (Maria Fishel, 2005). This is a home-school community partnership that have in the past shaped the future of children academically through proper understanding between parents and school personnel.
Equally important, schools have consistently talked with the parents about their high expectations for the students with an aim of attracting the attention of the parents to have more interest in school activities in order to enable students concentrate more. Everyone cherish success and no parent will sit back and watch his or her child fail. The consistent engagement with parents encourages the parents to be part and parcel of the school programs. This includes reminding their children of high expectations set by the school and challenging them to also learn by themselves at home (Alyssa R. Gonzalez-DeHass, Patricia P. Willems and Marie F. Doan Holbein, 2005).
Parent-School partnership has been proven to be crucial for the success of the student. As the saying goes, when heads are combined, the output is always the best. Parents should be in a position to build strong relationship with local service agencies that supports the students in terms of health and teen support. This facilitates child development and help them cope with academic stuffs at early years. This takes into account provision of certain workshops that targets students areas of interest such as student resilience, numeracy and literacy. Recent research revealed that early child preparation is of great significance to the childs future academics. Parents must therefore take an initiative of preparing their children early enough for studies and also prepare themselves to work together with the school to realize their childrens dreams.
Note that for parents to work with the schools as partners then the schools should provide them with the opportunity to participate in school activities as well as take part in coaching the students while at home. Developing an effective partnerships with the parents requires that the school staff (administrators, teachers, and support staff) create an environment that highly welcomes parents and encourages them to participate by raising questions and voice their concerns as well as to participate appropriately in decision making (Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler, 1997).
Partnership is always aimed at achieving an ultimate goal. The goal is always positive for the benefit of all the partners. Schools partnering with parents is clear way of working together to achieve the vision, mission and values of the school. Maria Fishel and Lucila Ramirez observed that partnership with parents should be keen in realizing the ultimate goal of schooling, getting good education and becoming knowledgeable and useful to the society. Schools should therefore encourage to go through their childrens work every night if possible. This is a very good step on the side of the parent to ensure the children not only participated in class but also understood what was taught in class in that particular lesson.
Maria Fishel and Lucila Ramirez, Evidence-Based Parent Involvement Interventions with School-Aged Children 2005, pp. 371-402
Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler, Parental Involvement in Childrens Education: Why Does it Make a Difference? 1997, p. 3.
Alyssa R. Gonzalez-DeHass, Patricia P. Willems and Marie F. Doan Holbein, Examining the Relationship Between Parental Involvement and Student Motivation: Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2005), pp. 99-123
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