The effects of parental involvement on a child\’s academic achievement

The effects of parental involvement on a child\’s academic achievement


The reasonably large amount of available research on parental involvement suggests that this research area has developed greatly. This paper is guided the nature of evidence that links parental engagement to student achievement, the power of a predictor of the school wellbeing is parental involvement, its ability to overcome the impediments to a school wellbeing in associationwith certain characteristics offamily backgrounds, the types of parental involvement most effective in attempt to increase student achievement, and also how comprehensively should parent involvement efforts be and finally the precise processes linking parental involvement to outcome of students.

Parental involvement usually takes many forms. This includes good parenting at home, which  includes presence of certain provisions that is ; stable environment and secure, parent-child discussion, intellectual stimulation, good models both in constructive social and the educational values as well as high aspirations that relate to personal fulfilment and also good citizenship there is need of parents to keep contact with schools and share helpful information concerning their children as well as participation in major school events if not all and participation in school work and in school governance. Parental involvement is usually associated to high student achievement outcomes. This is consistent in the outcome measures were standardized test scores, grades or a variety of other measures and teacher ratings. This trend holds for parental involvement overall.


            Self-efficacy is a term used to refer to an individuals’ beliefs in one’s ability to be able to produce the desired results(Wigfield, Byrnes, & Eccles, 2006) and also to learn and perform (Bandura, 1997).Self-efficacypredictsthe academic achievement (Bong, 2008) because of its effects on persistenceand effort. Students with great self-efficacy put forth a lot of effort necessary to produce good results.It believed that children usually a greater sense of competence when their parents are involved in their activities. Learners’ engagement in schools activates result to good achievements. Intrinsic motivation that comes from within an individual is a drive of the spontaneous behaviors. It is important force cognitive development in adolescents. Students with this motivationtend to do activitiesout of pleasure hence they do well at school because they engage in school activities with enjoyment and desire (Renninger, Ewan, & Lasher, 2002). Effects of parents’ involvement on this type of motivation is normally two-sided. There is controlling and informational involvement.  Where informative strengthens students intrinsic motivation the controlling motivation undermines their motivation.

The largest effect sizes emerged for parental expectations. The effect sizes for parental style and reading with one’s child were smaller than for either parental expectations, but they also had very consistent influences across the studies. Parent involvement programs also influenced educational outcomes, although to a lesser degree than preexisting expressions of parental support.

The logic that the strong family-school ties improve children’s educational outcomes has acquired almost acceptable principles status. Studies abound documenting association of parents’ involvement especially in thechildren’s schooling plus a number of benefits occurringnot only to students but also to theirparents and schools as well. The documented findings have very strong positive correlationsof parental involvementin their children’s schooling as well as improved student attitudes, attendance, achievements. Severalstudies have reported higher test scores and grades, more homework completed, less placements in thespecial education programs, a change in higher graduation rates, there was also positive attitudes behavior and, there was also anincrease in enrollment in the post-secondary education where parents were actively involved in theirchildren’s education.  Some of the benefits occurring in the schools due to successful involvement of parents’ activities include good reputations in the community, better parental ratings of the teacher performance, improved teacher morale,and also an increased support from the families.Parents who are involved are at a position of reaping benefits as well, this includes increasing their confidence in their abilities to parent, and communicate effectively with schools and help their children while learning at home. In some instances parents’ involvement in their children’s education prompts them to pursue further education. Studies reveal that teachers hold at a higher regard those parents who are involved in their children’s education and they also have high expectations of their children. There is power of home environment where children always spend a portion of all their waking hours that contribute to children’s educational outcomes. Family practices at home aimed at stimulating and supporting learning have significant impact on every student achievements more than factors like family structure for example single parent parenthood or the socio-economic status of the family (Henderson & Berla, 1997).

Facets of parental involvement requires investment of a lot of time. This is because the activities involved include reading and also communicating with the child, the highly subtle aspects of parental involvement, like expectations and parental style had high impact on the students’ educational outcomes that some more demonstrative aspects of the parental involvement, like having the household rules, and also parental attendance plus participation at the school functions. Extent and the form of parental involvement is highly influenced by the family social class, material deprivation, maternal level of education, single parent status, maternal psycho-social health and by family ethnicity to a lesser extent.

Home environment that is education friendly affects children’s achievement levels and theirlearning interest as well asfuture educational plans (Kellaghan et. al., 1993). Researchers have pointed varioussupportive processes ranging aspects such as strong family values and parents who are actively involved in school work. Most cited processes usually include maintenance ofparental support, stablefamily routines and support of schoolwork, discussion of events and ideas,quiet places of studying, parental aspirations that are high and standards for their children’s achievements, family literacy emphasis, monitoring of activities after school, tapping of the community resources as required, modeling of very positive behaviors, and good knowledge of the school experiences (Kellaghan et. al., 1993; Henderson & Berla, 1997; and U.S. Department of Education, 1994). Ample evidence is provided from these fields confirming the importance the values of every one of the family practices above.

Clark’s study of the low-income families and theirchildren findings showed that the parents of high achievers usually monitored most of their children’s behavior during home study and they usually had high expectations in their children’s education.  The high achievers had a greater access of homeadditional learning aids like dictionaries (Clark, 1993). Several researchers have observed that the child’savailability of reading materials at home is more often associated to the children’s achievements in reading comprehension (Becher, 1984; Hannon, 1995; Lee & Croninger 1994). Single parents can be challenged especially when there is financial constraints. Often there is the challenge of time because a parent is engaged. In case of a mother she may not have the skills nor the equipment to help their children with the woodworking experiments or science experiments. In case of a father he may lack skill in designing and sewing costumes for various school activities like school plays. This shows that children in single parenthood are likely to face some challenges.

U.S. Department of Education has made several reports that show that academic achievement drops for children who normally watch for more than ten hours each week (U.S. Department of Education, 1987). In another report by Clark he says thathigh achievers usually spend almost twenty hours every week in constructivelearning activities afterschool (Clark, 1990). Studies link frequent, open discussions between parents and their older children to academic success (Barton & Coley, 1992; U.S.Department of Education, 1994). Studies of home environment usually focus on the aspect of  parental involvement and the educational outcomes for the  preschool and the elementary children, some researchers have emphasized that the importance of such family practices as monitoring of television watching, homework,  and  the extracurricular activities especially for the middle and the high-school level students. Many researchers have stressed that, at the level of secondary, what parents do with respect to television monitoring and homework appear to have major impact on  the students outcomes (NCREL, 1995). The value of parental guidance is also pointed by many scholars in a bid to ensure that the secondary scholarsget the desire to pursue the challenging courses. (Hollified, 1995; U.S. Department of Education, 1994). The more practices are adhered to, the better the students become. Henderson and Berla point to several studies that indicate that the moreparental involvement is intense and comprehensive the great is the impact on the student outcomes.

Looking at parental involvement with respect to duration, there is a decline of parental involvement once the children get to middle and high schools.  The reasons for this decrease are, students become more involved with more teachers, the schools structure at these levels are complex, more often schools are located further away from homes and we also find that parents tend to perceive that their children want more autonomy (Hollifield, 1995). Although parental involvement is fewer at this level, they nevertheless, reinforce values ofmakeableparental involvement at this critical level in children’s educational careers.Colleaguesand Rumberger show dropout rates at high school where parents’involvement in their children education is less.

A lot can done in order to improve parental involvement in children education, encouragement and support of the principals is important. This is because principals are the major contributors when it comes to helping parents to connect with the school programs and teachers. (Duncan, 1992, p. 13). “Ultimate responsibility for creating harmony between the school and the home rests with the principal” (Campbell, 1992, p. 3). A good principal will advocate for good relationship between parents and the school fraternity. Communication between school and home is another important aspect in improving children education. Some of the specific types of communication are, informal parent/teacher exchanges which is more effective that the one-way form of communication where it is the teacher who is always consulting the parent. Teachers and parent should create friendly contact as soon as a child joins school.

Other than communication other ways of improving the relationship between school and parents include, school involvement in parents or students fund raising through sponsorship. This brings the parties together. Working side by side gives the parents and teachers a chance to talk. Parents/teachers meetings is another avenue where teachers and parents meet and talk. Inviting parents in voluntary services is important because it makes the parents feel needed and welcomed at school. Alumni events bring parents closer to the society and the school. The most popular program parent classes help students, parents and school. This program helps students in parenting ideas and problem solving solutions, tutoring strategies, communication skills and drug education. Some schools have set up parents centers stocked with the appropriate resources to help parents. This is away for the school to show parents that they care. There should also be a recognition of what parents are doing for their children by praising and appreciating what they are doing. (Wherry, 1992).use of computers is a new world openingfor student and teachers relation that should be taken full advantage of.

We have seen that improved achievement is the main reason for good parent children and teacher relation. Many to researches results report that parent involvement inschool results in significant improved student achievement. Parents who show great concern are in turn surprised with greater achievements on the part of children. The more a parent gets involved with the school curriculum, teacher and school administration, then the better the parent tend to feel about the school.Parents will in turn have increased sense of belonging and pride in the school and community at large.  As parents learn the way a school functions, the more they get to understand the education process and decisions parents and the school become friends and are in turn become mutual benefiaries when dealing with challenging students and situations. Parentsalso become supportive of the school with financial constrains as well as supportive of other leeway levies (Stouffe, 1992). Hence, as parent becomes involved and gets to learns about the school, you will find that the more they help the student. Parents increase their comprehension of their child’s development in the areas of emotional, social, physical and cognitive development (Gelfer, 1991, p. 164). A bond between the educational program and the home experiences is necessary. Parents who understand how their children develop are able to provide better home environment. Parentsshould learn more and even attend parent classes in schools where there is that provision. To produce positive spiral in success ofstudent, parent and school relation in order to have great achievements






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