Parental Involvement in Education
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viewcontent.cgi?article=1070&context=mcnair_journal

Caroline Weber's insight:

This scholarly article investigated the long term effects on self-confidance in education based on varying parent-child relationships. The study conducted conversational interviews with students from one of three parent relationship groups: positive, neutral, and negative. Research found that students in the positive parent relationship group reported feeling that the support their parents provided was essential to their success. They felt that they may have been able to succeed without the support, but they wouldn't have wanted to. They had lower feelings of self-confidence in terms of success in education compared to the other groups. The students in the negative parent relationship group said that their academic success was entirely their own--they were extremely confident in their own abilities, and felt that everything they had earned could be credited to themselves. These findings were not consistent with that the researchers had originally predicted. They did not anticipate learning that students who had negative parent relationships would have strong senses of intrinsic motivation while students with positive parent relationships would have completely external senses of motivation. 

When I first read the question of this study, I did not expect the end result, but now thinking about it, the result does make sense. When parents provide such a supportive environment for their children, the children naturally feel more dependent on them. Since that was the life they grew up with, it's only expected that they couldn't imagine succeeding in any other way. The same goes for students with negative parent relationships: for students who did end up succeeding even without parent success, they have no one to attribute that success to other than themselves. 

Like I've mentioned before, parent involvement in their child's education seems to be an incredibly delicate and complicated balance! Not only do parents have to be supportive and involved in their child's education, but they need to instill values to self-confidence and efficacy in their children as well. 

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Great Start.wmv

Side by Side program of workshops for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten families
Caroline Weber's insight:

This organization was brought to my attention by another member of the class who interned for them. Located in Laurel, MD advocating for schools in PG County after six of seven elementary schools in the area scored below the state average on standardized math and reading tests. Feedback from teachers collected in 2009 said that poor reading skills, negative student behavior, and low parental involvement are pressing issues in the classroom. Side by Side's plan in helping parents partner with schools to ensure their children's academic success is to provide "families with helpful parenting techniques and other support, provide tutoring and mentoring programs for at-risk students and offer enrichment activities for all students." To combat the language barrier that is present in many PG County homes, Side by Side "will work with Spanish-speaking families on ways they can tackle issues particular to that community." Basically, the program sponsors instructional workshops for parents (which often include a meal) on how to suppor their child's education. 

On paper, this program is doing everything I believe will contribute to educational success. Often times, parents take a laid back approach to their children's education because they don't have experience in school themselves, or because they're not sure how they can be supportive, or because they don't speak English. This program provides services that address each of these issues and makes it so easy for parents to get involved. They also plan fun events for the family (on the site, there was a video from an event in which people got pied in the face!). However, since the workshops the program provides are all free of charge, this organization runs largely on donations and private support, so it's difficult to say whether or not they will be successful in the long run. Hopefully families who benefit from this organization will be able to contribute to the organization's future and the success of future children's educations. 

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Why Parental Involvement in a Child’s Education is Critical

Why Parental Involvement in a Child’s Education is Critical | Parental 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...
Caroline Weber's insight:

This blogger strongly believes that parental involvement in education is the key to a child's success. He says that the school and the teacher are not the only components responsible for a child's learning: parents play a crucial role in the balance of educational pieces. He lays out several steps parents can take to be more efficient pieces of their child's education. They need to first understand their importance in their child's education and why education is so important to their future. Being involved leads to better relationships between parents and children, and parent presence in schools (conferences, extra-curricular involvement, spending time at school) enhance the education process. He also says that parents should "begin early in their child's life to determine what their child is interested in...and ultimately relate those interests to career possibilities [since] it helps when they can begin to relate classwork to something they are already have interest in." 

There are certain aspects of this argument that I agree with, and some that I think go too far. I definitely think education is not just up to schools and teachers: parents and home life have an equal role in an intricate balance, but I don't think this balance is as easily defined as the author makes it seem. What's best for a student may vary greatly even among the most similar of children. I think parents do have the responsibility to collaborate with teahers and know what's going on in the classroom, as sometimes parents can give teachers insight into the things that are going on at home. But I don't think that parents necessarily need to have a recurring presence in the classroom. I remember it being nice sometimes when my mom would volunteer to chaperone a class field trip, but I think it would have been crossing a line to have my mom with me in class more than once. School is the best way for a child to develop a sense of independence, and parent's shouldn't deprive them of that. The point I disagree with most is the parent's responsibility to relate their child's interests to career possibilities starting at a young age. Childhood is sacred, and children don't need their parents telling them what their future should look like. When the time comes, a child will start to explore their future interests, and will express concern to their parents if they need help doing so. 

While I don't agree with everything the author wrote, I do think this is an important topic that parents should read into and determine their philosphy on the matter so that they can do what's best for their child while he or she is in school. 

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Do We Invest in Preschools or Prisons?

Do We Invest in Preschools or Prisons? | Parental Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Big Bird and the A.B.C.’s may be the best tools for fighting poverty and crime. So let’s get moving on early education programs.
Caroline Weber's insight:

This article highlights the crucial role parents play in their children's education readiness. The program in question proposes parental coaching, since parents who didn't complete education themselves are more likely to raise children who won't succeed academically as well. Parental coaching will include nurse visits to the home while the mother is pregnant to mak sure she is receiving proper nutrition, not using drugs, etc. The nurse visits will continue while the child is a baby to help with various child-rearing tasks that could help relieve some of the stress/burden of parenting, ultimately making the mother a better parent.

Something this article mentions that I never knew before was that strengths that are seen in kindergarten often fade by the time a student reaches third grade, so while jump-start preschool programs provide quick benefits, something that still needs work is capitalizing on the successes achieved during early education.

While I think the comparison of "pay for preschool now or prison in the future" is dramatic, there's no denying we're sitting on the brink of potentially revolutionary education reform. Hopefully there is enough government backing to make it happen. 

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Early Childhood Education COUNTS

Early Childhood Education COUNTS | Parental Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Quick facts that show why early childhood education adds up for our children, families, schools and California economy
Caroline Weber's insight:

Simple info graphic presentation of the benefits of early childhood education. The fact I found most shocking was that the state of California spends 10x more money on prisons than early childhood education. 

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Cancel the baby yoga, let your kids chill out - Independent.ie

Cancel the baby yoga, let your kids chill out - Independent.ie | Parental Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Most mothers I know have done it. Signed up for the latest baby class because they feel if they don't their child will somehow miss out.
Caroline Weber's insight:

I thought this article provided a nice insight into how parents can over-do involvement not just in their child's education, but in their gernal lives. I've already made it clear that I think parents need to be active and take roles of responsibilty for their child's education, I think this article highlights the truly delicate balance of this process.

Since a lot of parents know the benefits of being involved, they can sometimes go crazy signing their child up for mommy-and-me type classes, scheduling piano lessons and play-dates, and making their child do a lot of things that they just don't want to do, simply because they're trying to be involved. This article, though, says that the aspect of involvement that children benefit from is not the wide range of highly specific activities--it's simply the time spent together, especially in a relaxing environment. It's not necessarily about the well-rounded experiences they're receiving, it's the close knit relationship and the fun family bonding. Enhancing this relationship will generally benefit the child in the long run, because they will know they have a supportive family relationship which will carry over to more rigorous academic years. 

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"Parents Who Don’t Parent"

"Parents Who Don’t Parent" | Parental Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
The United States’ 50 largest cities graduate only 50% of their high school students. Chicago public school teacher Will Okun discusses some of the consequences, as well as some promising solutions.
Caroline Weber's insight:

This article uses urban education in downtown Chicago as the focus point to dicuss the importance of parental involvement in education, especially for students from low income families. The author writes: "I have observed two definite factors that separate the dropouts from the graduates: academic skills and parental involvement." He says remedial students can succeed if they have parental support, and strong academic students succeed in spite of lack of parental support, but students with low academic skill and no parental support are sure to fail. He says that no only do urban schools have to compensate for lack of quality teachers, resources, and facilities, but they must also compensate for uninvolved parents by "providing additional education support and services that have been traditionally considered the responsibility of individual families." Essentially, he suggests that in order to reform urban schools, the schools must take on the roles of the family. He proposes two solutions to this problem: access to early education starting at age 1, and "expansion of the academic year at elementary and middle schools with longer days and shorter vacations." He wants to provide free education to all young children to ensure they get off on the right foot with education, and he also wants to expand the school year to include 220 days, and the school day to include 8 hours. He says, "The extra time could be utilized tutoring, reading, practicing skills, completing homework and pursuing the artistic, cultural, and athletic activities that no longer exist in the typical urban school schedule." Until we can figure out how to teach parents to parent, these implementations could help students stay in school longer and become successful parenting parents themselves. 

If suggested for wide-scale reform, I would absolutely oppose this author's suggestions. I see incredible value in vacations and standard length school days because they allow students a much needed break from a stressful school day. I also think that starting education at 1 is a bit excessive, because it could lead to pre-emptive labelling of students which could be detrimental to their success. However, in an urban setting, I would be open to considering these reforms, especially the idea of an extended school day. One of the reasons students drop out of school is because the get involved in dangerous "extra-curricular" activities, so providing activities in school could help foster interests/passions, as well as keep students away from dangerous situations for longer. 

I thought this article was a great as it made suggestions I had never considered before. I learned a lot from this reading. 

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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 | Parental Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
Today parents are more involved in their children's schools - and quick to question teachers.
Caroline Weber's insight:

This blog post offers the perspective that an over-involved parent can hinder the teacher's authority in the classroom. The author says that some parents are concerned with their children's days, and when they hear that the student was bored in math class, the parent overreacts and complains to the teacher that perhaps his/her methods of teaching are not effective. The author also gives the example that the move to put grades online for easier access leaves the possibility for more parental craze about their child's grades. To me, the issue I see with this particular aspect of over-involvement is that it doesn't hold the student responsible for his own work: the parent can check which assignments are due and remind the student to do them, instead of the student taking initiative to remember them himself. 

Something the article says that I agree with is the need for a partnership between parents and teachers. With all the articles I've read and in talking to parents with elementary aged children, this balance seems ideal: students are supported both in school and at home, and learning continues outside of the classroom. However, I do also agree that there comes a point when a parent could be too involved. If a student is not independent academically, this can lead to dependence in other aspects of life that could be detrimental later on. 

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Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K

Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K | Parental Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
A Stanford psychologist found that affluent children had learned 30 percent more words from 18 months to 2 years of age than children from low-income homes.
Caroline Weber's insight:

This article reinforces all that I've been reading about the importance of early childhood education and parent involvement in academics. This article takes a little bit of a different perspective than a few others I've read about kindergarten readiness. While they do emphasize the importance of pre-school education, they point to parents engaging in conversation with their children as the most crucial part of language and vocabulary development. It makes sense that the more children are exposed to words, the easier time they will have recognizing those words later on. Unfortunately, though, this heavy exposure is something that children of middle and upper class families seem to be experiencing. It's perplexing as to why socioeconomic status would have an impact even in an area that has nothing to do with money. Hopefully parents of low income families start to realize that there are (free!) steps they can take to increase the chances of their children's success in the classroom. 

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Caroline Weber's curator insight, October 22, 2013 10:04 AM

Check out this scoop on my Parental Involvement board for my complete reaction. This article is applicable to many topics, and it was too great not to share more than once! 

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Scarsdale, NY 10583 | Kindergarten: Where Six is the New Five. Or is it? | Schools | Your Community Corner

Scarsdale, NY 10583 | Kindergarten: Where Six is the New Five. Or is it? | Schools | Your Community Corner | Parental Involvement in Education | Scoop.it
What's the right age to start kindergarten? Surprising data reveals that ultimately younger children fare better in school
Caroline Weber's insight:

For a parent, deciding whether or not a child with a late birthday is ready for school is understandably overwhelming. There are so many factors that can determine the child's success, and this decision is one that is loaded with an incredible number of consequences. For this reason, I think it would be a good idea for all school districts to set a firm cut off date. This would relieve the parents of the stress of this decision. Of course, there should be room for exceptions, since parents do know their children best, but the guideline would be the best option. Additionally, the article mentions that the younger students of a grade tend to have higher GPAs, but in my experience, I've also seen that these younger students are more mature than their peer (most likely due to compensation for the fact that they're younger). 

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