Parental Involvement: The Key to Remedial Success
There is a factor in a child’s academic achievement that has been shown to be more important than many other factors. It is more important than a student’s socio-economic factors. It is more important than the school that a child attends. It is even more important than the pupil’s intrinsic intelligence and ability.
It is whether a parent is involved in their child’s academic development.
Not just for remedial learners – this is for all learners
Studies have shown that parental involvement is an immensely important factor in predicting academic success. One study, for example, examined ten thousand students. It also evaluated their teachers, school administration and parents. The study found that when a student has good support from home, they do well. This is more important, even, than having good support at the school. The study also factored in other elements, such as in extracurricular activities and teachers’ morale. All of these are important, and all are beneficial to students. But having the support from home, and parents engaged in the life of the school, was the most influential factor in academic results.
The research has revealed the benefits to be true for all students. It is not just remedial learners that benefit from having their parents involved in their schooling.
But it certainly shows that remedial children need their parents’ involvement in their schooling. This is at least as important, if not more important, as it is for mainstream students.
The level of education that the parent has achieved is not an important factor in seeing the benefits
Some parents might feel that their own educational level is lacking. They did not do well in school, so how can they assist their own children? In fact, in South Africa, many adults were deprived of access to quality education when they were young.
The results of the studies revealed something very important. The level of a parent’s education does not diminish the benefits a child receives from a parent’s active interest.
The benefits are not just academic…
When children’s parents are involved in their children’s schooling there are many benefits. Generally, these children have fewer behavioural problems. They also display better social skills. They are more relaxed and comfortable, even when starting at a new school.
But for students with involved parents, there is a marked academic improvement!
School attendance is more regular for students with parents who take an active interest in their learning. They also have better marks in test scores and higher grades on average.
Higher critical thinking skills can also be nurtured. This is often overlooked in many classrooms due to many factors. Parents can ask questions to help their kids think through what they have been taught. This helps them see the application of principles beyond simply the classroom setting. Approaching a topic from a different angle also helps them to tackle problems in various ways.
Better homework habits are developed when parents actively participate in their children’s learning.
With all this reinforcement from the parents, students will also display a higher retention rate. They will remember what they have learned. They will also be better at applying it than children who only have input from their teachers.
Can a parent’s involvement be negative for their child?
There is certainly a line that can be crossed in parental involvement. Calling a meeting with a teacher for every little incident is not healthy parental involvement. This type of parenting can and will in fact be detrimental to a child. It sends the message to them that they cannot handle anything themselves. This will hinder their development as independent individuals. This can also lead to even less healthy behaviour.
It is healthy parental engagement that leads to all these benefits
What we are talking about is healthy parental involvement. The type of healthy engagement from parents begins with an interest in a child’s schooling. This is not just when they are in their first year at school. It also does not only start when they are approaching Matric. Beneficial parental involvement is ongoing and genuine.
Healthy parental involvement begins in the home
This could even sound paradoxical: beneficial school engagement from parents starts at home. But it is true. Having a real interest in what your child is learning is the vital first step to being engaged in your child’s schooling.
Parents are a child’s first teachers. If they have a positive attitude towards school and schooling this will be how the student will approach school in general.
Asking how a child’s day at school was is a great start. Showing a genuine interest will open opportunities to discuss more than just the classroom. Know what games your child played and who their friends are.
The positive impact of reading at home together has been well documented. Foster a culture of reading throughout your child’s school career.
Take it a definite step further by asking what they learned in the day. Check their homework daily. Again, showing positive interest in what your child is learning is invaluable. This is not only a chance to track what it is that your child is doing. It gives the pupil a chance to verbalise the lessons of the day. This is a key step in learning. It helps develop understanding of a topic when you can explain it to someone else.
Be that someone else for your remedial child.
This will also allow you to gauge when your child might be having a particular learning issue with a particular subject. This means that action can be taken early on, and not just at the end of the term (or year!). If extra lessons are needed this can be arranged in good time.
It will also mean there won’t be any last-minute scares for projects that are due tomorrow!
Be attentive to school bulletins and attend the School Meetings
Take note of school notices. Read the newsletters that are sent out. Pay attention to announcements. Attend school meetings and make a point to be at parents’ evenings.
Volunteer when you are able to participate in school functions. Come along to sports days and watch the sporting events (Covid permitting!). Come along and cheer for the athletes. Help set up for the school fete. When unable, be enthusiastic for your child to be getting involved.
All of this goes an incredibly long way. It shows the children that you have not simply given this responsibility over to someone else. You are displaying the fact that you consider yourself responsible for your child’s education. They will know full well that you are not the expert teacher. But they will see that you are involved and guiding the process.
Japari welcomes the chance to journey with you to see your child achieving their full potential
Japari has a long history of assisting children with specific learning challenges. We are experts in rendering help to those learners who have found that they struggle in a more traditional school environment.
Healthy parental involvement is encouraged and welcomed. We even have support systems in place for the parents of our remedial students. We take a personal interest in our students and love to see parents being active in the life of the school.