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The Crucial Role of Parental Involvement

Editor's Note: Today's guest post comes from Dr. Matthew Lynch~ an assistant professor of education.

Understanding the deep-rooted importance of family and parental involvement in education and its effect on the academic performance of a child requires recognizing the fact that parents are childrens first teachers. Home is the first school~ and as such~ it is the place where children learn an abundance of skills~ knowledge~ and attitudes~ some of which supports what is taught in schools.
When parents get involved with their childrens education~ they tend to succeed academically achievement~ and tend to perform better on exams. They miss fewer school days and tend to be more conscientious about completing school-related work outside of school. Conversely~ children whose families are not as involved in their school experiences are often unable to compete academically with peers~ their attendance is less regular~ and they are less likely to graduate from high school.

Because of the positive impact that parent and family involvement in education has on the performance of children~ schools often try to encourage parents and family members to increase their participation in the educational process. In order to increase partnership of parents with schools~ schools must create an environment that offers enough incentives and support for parents.
Schools cannot expect that all parents and family members will increase their level of parental involvement on their own. School staff~ to include teachers~ other school personnel~ maintenance staff~ and administrators~ must work together to develop an environment that encourages parents to ask questions and share their feedback with school personnel. Some parents will need to be invited to schools~ and learn to view schools as places where they may seek advice~ receive suggestions on any number of school/student related issues~ and as well places where their input and thoughts are welcomed.

Some parents may be dissuaded to get involved with what they perceive as a group of close-knit educational professionals who engage in language and practices meant to exclude parents from the work of educational systems. School districts must make sure parents understand state standards and assessments~ so that parents can be more involved in monitoring the progress of their children. Schools are required to make sure that communications with parents are in language and formats that are understandable to parents. In order for Americas children to succeed academically~ the crucial role of parental involvement must be embraced wholeheartedly.

Dr. Matthew Lynch is an Assistant Professor of Education at Widener University. Dr. Lynch is the author of three forthcoming books; Its Time for Change: School Reform for the Next Decade (Rowman & Littlefield 2011)~ A Guide to Effective School Leadership Theories (Routledge 2012)~ and The Call to Teach: An Introduction to Teaching (Pearson 2013).

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