Family Involvement in Education
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Why Parental Involvement in a Child’s Education is Critical

Why Parental Involvement in a Child’s Education is Critical | Family Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
We all understand that a good education for our children is critical to ensure they have the best chance for a prosperous future. The problem is that everyone has different ideas about what that pr...
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This blog post by Dr. T. William Hefferan really puts a strong responsibility on families to be involved in their child's education. He says that parental involvement is the necessary key that can make or break a child's education. I am not sure that I agree with everything the author states in his blog, for one he references the most important outcome of education is future employment. I do not necessarily agree with employment as being the most important product of education and I do not think that it should be the focus of the child while they are in school. I personally think that it is much more important to have the child understand the importance of knowledge and learn critical skills that will help them both in their future career but in all other aspects of their lives as well. That being said I do agree with his statement that “Parents should begin early in their child’s life to determine what their child is interested in, what gets them excited, how that relates to certain classroom topics, and ultimately relating those interests to career possibilities. It helps when they can begin to relate classwork to something they already have an interest in”. I think that it is absolutely important that children understand how what they are learning in the classroom relates to situations outside of school and I do believe that the child’s family should have a part in helping their children realize the importance of their education. I believe that communicating with children about the purpose of education is the most important involvement a family member can have. Overall I may disagree with Dr. Hefferan’s overall view of the reason for education but I do think he brings up necessary things to think about in how parents should explain education to students. 

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Schools Working To Increase Parental Involvement

Research shows that parental involvement in a child's education improves academic performance.
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This story from NPR discusses different ways schools are trying to force parents to attend parent-teacher conferences, specifically a prosecutor that wants to have parents face jail time if they do not participate in their child’s education. The prosecutor, Kim Worthy explains that this would be the last resort for parents who do not attend at least one parent-teacher conference a year. Before jail parents would have to take parenting classes or another way to be involved rather than go straight to jail. Honestly even though this is clearly very extreme, I am not opposed to it because the actual jail time is the final strike and all the other penalties seem very reasonable. Ms. Worthy makes a good point I agree with her when she states, “And the other faction of people that don't like it say, well, we shouldn't have to legislate this. Well, that's true. But we shouldn't have to legislate you putting your baby in a car seat, or you sending your children to school, or you being responsible for your children's behavior, or curfew, what time your children are home. We shouldn't have to - texting while driving. We shouldn't have to legislate any of those things, either, but we have to.” I also think the it is fair to only mandate parents to attend one conference per year. One conference a year is very manageable even for parents who are very busy. I think that this is important to enforce because I believe that if a child sees that their parents care enough about them to go to their school, even with their very busy schedules, then the student will feel much better about themselves and their relationship with the school. If parents show that school is important than many more students will realize its importance. I agree with mandating at least one conference a year because I feel like it is very low on the spectrum of family involvement but it can definitely help the student in the long run. 

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A Neglected Resource

A Neglected Resource | Family Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Parental involvement is clearly linked with academic success for all students, regardless of income level.
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This article from a website for educators explains how to encourage caregivers who may not be able to help their child's education in a traditional way, such as volunteering in the classroom or going to every fundraiser. The teacher can take steps to reach out to caregivers and try to get them as involved as they are able to. The author says that even if the parent cannot be involved in the school setting they should be involved in education at home, “Although the parents rarely visited the school or communicated with their children’s teachers, they demonstrated their involvement with firm discipline and by encouraging their children to talk to the teacher if they struggled with an assignment.” I think that this is a great way for parents to stay involved because they show the child they care but they are also promoting responsibility in the student by making them talk to their teachers themselves. The author then gives an example of a child, Marcus, whose mother perfectly demonstrated this approach to involvement “One student, Marcus, said that when he was young his mother (who had a high school education) created enrichment activities to help him practice the alphabet or counting skills at home, but she often did not understand his school assignments as he grew older. Instead of communicating with his teachers about the assignments, she advised him to ask his teachers for help. This type of parental involvement was crucial to Marcus’s development of personal relationships with his teachers, which was a key factor in his academic success.” I think that this is important because it shows that sometimes caregivers may feel like they are unable to help, especially if they did not get a high education themselves, but if the teacher can reach out and explain that any involvement from the caregivers is helpful it can cure some of the worries they have and really be beneficial to the child’s success. 

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Parental Involvement in Education: What Kind? To What Ends?

Parental Involvement in Education: What Kind? To What Ends? | Family Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Exhortations for more "parental involvement" remind me of calls to be "a good citizen": In the abstract, everyone is for it.
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This article by Alfie Kohn discusses the different types of parental involvement. He explains that there are different ways parents can be involved in their child's education. They can help with homework, go to fundraisers, go to school board meetings, etc. But not all of these types of involvements have the same effect. I was very interested in his point that the nature of involvement is more important than actually helping them. He states that "There's a big difference between a parent who's focused on what the child is doing -- that is, on the learning itself -- and a parent who's focused on how well the child is doing." I really agree with this idea because this demonstrates how parents should understand that school isn't just for learning material but it is for their child to grow. For parental involvement to be effective then their main focus should be on what the schools are doing for their child, not what their child is doing for the school. Kohn explains that this is not entirely the family's fault and that "they're taking their cue from educators who blur the differences between a focus on learning and a focus on performance, or between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation." Parents seem to just be following the education system without really questioning it and family involvement should try to really understand why their child is at school and try to make the most out of it that they can. Kohn uses the example of homework to explain how parents just trust school's judgments without really analyzing it for themselves. He says "If the purpose (of a partnership between parents and schools) is to coerce him into obeying rules that may not be reasonable, or to "live up to his potential" by working harder at assignments of dubious value, then we'd want parents to ask penetrating questions about the school's practices. Parents should aim higher than helping teachers to make children toe the line." I think that this is a really interesting way to look at family involvement instead of the typical "parents should support their children" way of thinking.

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Are we too involved in our children's education? - Parentdish UK

Are we too involved in our children's education? - Parentdish UK | Family Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Today parents are more involved in their children's schools - and quick to question teachers.
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This article from a British parenting website discusses the dangers of overinvolved parents and the effects they can have on a classroom. It talks about how there has been a shift in thought over the last few decades with more and more parents challenging teachers and schools. I think that this article makes a really interesting point about when families being involved in their child’s education can become a bad thing. Other articles I have read have touched on this issue, for instance Alfie Kohn discusses in his article Parental Involvement in Education: What Kind? To What Ends? how there never seems to be a middle ground between a severe lack of involvement from families and excessive amounts. No other articles I have read so far though have focused solely on the problems with too much involvement. In this article the author writes that ‘parent power’ has disrupted the balance between teachers and parents. The article uses a school teacher, John, as an example for the chances in the relationships between teachers and parents. The article says “By the time of John's retirement and in the years immediately before, the culture of parental involvement in his school had changed remarkably. Instead of mums and dads only coming in when there was a serious issue, they would be questioning the details of teachers' methods and ways far more frequently.” The article then explains why it can be a problem for teachers to handle, “John believes this can lead to frustration for teachers: ‘I am all for openness, but parents now think they know as much or even more than us.” This viewpoint is different from any other that the articles I have read have addressed, this focuses on the effect parental involvement has on teachers. I think this is an important viewpoint to look at and one that is clearly over looked a lot of the time. Parental involvement is a wonderful thing but when it interferes in what teachers are trying to accomplish in the classroom then it can become a problem. Most parents are not as knowledgeable as teachers and principals and school boards are when it comes to the overview of education and they are much more likely to think that something is right for their child without completely weighing the pros and cons. For instance many new studies have been done recently about how ineffective homework is yet I’m sure many parents are unaware of this and would question a teacher who may not assign as much homework that the parent believes is important. I really liked that this article brought up the viewpoint of the teacher because it adds a whole new level to the debate of what place family involvement has in education. 

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The ABCs of Parent Involvement

The ABCs of Parent Involvement | Family Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Parent involvement is an integral part of one school's success. Learn how the school has gotten parents involved, along with tips on improving parent involvement in your school.
Katie Figgie's insight:

This video is about a school district which has a very intense parental involvement program which hosts parent leadership conferences. I think it is really important for this group to stress the difference between helpful and harmful involvement in the schools. I believe that this video shows that they do try to stress the fact that parents should not try to take over schools but instead to help their children succeed as much as they can. The founder gives her back story of watching her immigrant parents struggle with understanding the American school system and were not able to help her as much as they would like. I think it is a wonderful idea for schools to help parents who may not be able to help their children because of cultural differences or their own lack of education. I also think that this program is a constructive way for parents to address issues with their schools without blaming the principal, or the teacher or whoever else they disagree with, a problem brought up in the article Are We Too Involved In Our Children's Education? Obviously there are some downfalls to this program, it seems very time and money consuming which would not work with all different communities but I can understand how it works well for this specific school district.

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Parental Involvement in Education #EsElMomento

Parental Involvement in Education #EsElMomento | Family Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Parental involvement in education (or lack of) is a regular conversation topic in my world. It shapes one's choices in regards to their own education.
Katie Figgie's insight:

This blog post is from a mother about her opinions on how important involvement is in a child’s education. I think this article makes a wonderful point that as long as someone is passionate about their child's education then they will be at an advantage. The author states that while she was very worried she would make a mistake in her school choice for her son she talked to a former teacher who stated “No matter which road you choose, if you are as passionate about your son's education when he's actually in school as you are right now, he will already be at an advantage.” I think that this quote is so important to remember when discussing family involvement. I absolutely think that the most important type of involvement someone can have in their child’s education is to care about it. The author makes a point in her article that I absolutely agree with, she volunteers to help families stay involved in education and she claims that “Sometimes it's simply a matter of encouraging the parent to visit with the teacher or to ask each of them to make themselves available to one another. Sometimes, it requires the parents to demand change within the schools. If language is a barrier, parents and students must insist on getting help. Let's not let it be because the parents are not willing to work with the teachers.” I absolutely agree with this article and I truly believe that the caregiver does not have to be able to teach the student everything they need, they don't have to be able to spell every word, and they don't need to know how to do their child's algebra homework but if they encourage the child and instill the importance of education then the student will see benefits from having that support system in their lives. 

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Parent, Family, Community Involvement in Education

"Parents, families, educators and communities—there’s no better partnership to assure that all students pre-K- to high school—have the support and resources they need to succeed in school and in life. —NEA President Dennis Van Roekel"

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This scholarly article explains some important parts of family involvement. It explains that involvement in a child's education is proven to help increase their academic performance no matter the family background. “Researchers cite parent-family-community involvement as a key to addressing the school dropout crisis and note that strong school-family-community partnerships foster higher educational aspirations and more motivated students. The evidence holds true for students at both the elementary and secondary level, regardless of the parent’s education, family income, or background…” The article also states that research has also proven that what a child learns at home can benefit them as much as what they learn in the classroom and more schools should be focusing on getting students' caregivers involved. I believe that it is the schools job to create an environment and a relationship with families so that they feel comfortable reaching out to teachers. I also believe schools should make sure caregivers know how important it is for their child that family is involved in their education. I also believe though that it is just as much the caregiver’s responsibility to demonstrate to their child how important school is. This article really pushes for a strong partnership between all different people, teachers, principals, parents to help students both succeed in school and in general. I agree with this because I think that it should not be up to one person to help a child through school, there should be a whole community helping the child so that they feel supported and cared for. I like how this article ends by saying “The Association has long advocated policies to assist and encourage parents, families, and communities to become actively engaged in their public schools and become an integral part of school improvement efforts. While some states and school districts have enacted laws and policies to encourage parent-community-school partnerships, more enforcement is needed. At the same time, promising, locally developed practices should be rewarded, sustained, and expanded.” I think this relates to a lot of the other articles I have discussed and shows how important it is that a community is involved in education. 

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