The greatest effect on a child’s learning is their parents, but how could this impact be harnessed?
Even though the most significant impact happens at home, there is still much to learn about how to best utilize parents’ potential for help.
Demonstrating the importance of education to children is one of the most important ways a parent can boost their children’s learning. This is true all across the world, yet parents can instil this value in their children in a variety of ways. If their parents can persuade their children of the importance of education and gather the resources to support them, they are more likely to attend school and do well.
Many of the significant contributions made by parents do not necessitate financial or educational resources. “What are you studying about at school?” is a simple question that can help. Parents can add a different perspective to what their children are learning: “I’m not sure whether you’ve heard of this…?” can start a conversation. Parents might, for example, bring up climate change and inquire about how it relates to, say, science at class. “What do you suppose we can do?” they can ask, extending what the kid is doing in school and bringing it home. “Are we able to recycle?” Parents care about education and look after their children, as evidenced by these exchanges.
Parents also offer a good example for their children. They can show their children that they are attempting to read for themselves so that they are not always on their phones or watching TV in the background. It is really useful to read with children, especially at a young age. However, if parents have limited literacy skills, simply conversing with their children and giving them anecdotes, even if they are not from a book, can help them develop language skills.
Every country values parental involvement in their children’s education. However, the manner in which people become involved varies widely.
Getting parents involved in their children’s education
How can formal schooling make the most of parents’ social capital to help students learn? The cultural norms differ. Parents are expected to participate in their children’s classes, work at book fairs and other such events, or help with donations in some locations, such as the United States.
Teachers’ objectives are sometimes to communicate what is happening in the classroom and to advise parents on how they might assist their children in learning. These initiatives tend to work better if they are broadly available and non-stigmatizing, rather than focused solely on parents of struggling children. Parents are rarely seen in classes or at schools in other nations, such as China, which has rejected these ideals.
Few models take into account the contributions that fathers can make to their children’s education; in fact, much of the study and experimentation on parental participation concentrates on mothers. Some countries, however, have acknowledged the value of involving dads.
At home, the most impact is felt.
Parents often make the largest difference in their children’s education at home. Parents frequently inquire about how much homework assistance they should provide. If children are having difficulty in school, it is beneficial to provide a hand, with the parent serving as a tutor to help youngsters understand or practice reading with text assistance. However, some parents do that and take control, leaving children with the impression that they are incapable of doing it on their own. Children require a sense of efficacy.
Cultural and family systems can collide with school learning systems. This is true when schools use English or French as the medium of teaching, for example, when children speak various mother tongues and are unable to communicate effectively in these languages.
Parents can help their children’s mental health.
Maintaining children’s mental health and well-being is an essential educational topic on which parents can have a big influence. Placing a strong importance on academic achievement in youngsters may lead to anxiety and depression symptoms. This is prevalent when high-stakes exams provide a narrow path to more opportunities, either due to a country’s limited education budget or top schools cherry-picking students.
High-stakes testing raises worries that academic success is accomplished at the expense of children’s mental health, particularly in Asian countries. Sweden, owing to its affluence, is a wonderful example of a healthy junction between household values and the educational system: both promote students having a variety of study options that represent their particular preferences.
It is considerably easier to identify evidence for parental activities that are uniformly negative for children, such as physical punishment than it would be to identify evidence for practices that are universally helpful. However, given the wide range of results, parents and educational institutions should consider looking elsewhere and asking, “Should we try that here?”
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