Parental involvement helps students achieve


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When parents are involved in their children's education at home, the children do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go further in school and the schools they go to are better. According to the results of the Asset Survey administered to Havre students, 28 percent reported that parents are actively involved in helping them succeed in school.

Youths are often busy. Parents are often busy. Teachers are often busy. It is important, however, for schools and families to connect in order to build assets despite their sometimes hectic schedules. Some parents and families are able to be involved in many ways. Others may only have time for one or two activities. Whatever your level of involvement, do it consistently and stick with it because you will make an important difference in your child's life.

Involvement can mean:

reading to your child;

checking homework every night;

creating a space for youth to do homework each day;

discussing your children's progress with teachers;

voting in school board elections;

participating in the parent-teacher organization

limiting TV viewing on school nights;

attending parent-teacher conferences;

volunteering to help at school or your local Boys & Girls Club;

becoming an advocate for better education in your community and state.

Or, it can be as simple as asking your children, "How was school today?" But ask every day. That will send your children the clear message that their schoolwork is important to you and you expect them to learn.

Research cited on the National Education Association Web site shares the following reasons for parents to be actively involved:

The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from preschool through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background.

In 1994, the College Board found that reading achievement is more dependent on learning activities in the home than are math and science. Reading aloud to children is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child's chance of reading success.

When parents are involved at school as well as at home, children do better and stay in school longer.

When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically.

Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a child's time, helping with homework, and discussing school matters.

Parents who read to their children before they enter school give their children a boost toward reading success. Talking to children about books and stories read to them also supports reading achievement.

The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child's educational process, the more powerful the effects.

Positive results of parental involvement in their children's schooling include improved achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling.

This week is the beginning of a new grading period for grades K-5 and a good time for parents to get involved in schooling. For more information, contact your child's school or the HELP Committee and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line at 265-6206.


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