Guest Author: Raziela Jayleen
Parental involvement, such as helping a child study for a test and attending parent-teacher meetings, has a positive effect on student academic performance. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology concluded that children whose parents are highly involved in such activities exhibited higher grades and overall better academic performance. Due to this correlation, several schools from all over the globe have started implementing different approaches to boost parent engagement to improve academic outcomes. Here are a few strategies from them that you can take inspiration from:
- Distribute parent-friendly learning guides
Africa is among the developing countries with the lowest performers in numeracy and literacy skills. While students learn these particular skills in the classroom, they will most likely need additional help at home with assignments to gain a better understanding of the lessons. Because of this, Bridge International Academies, a network of schools in the region, distributes learning guides for parents that outline their child’s lessons for the day. It’s complete with all the information they need so they can help their kids gain a deeper understanding of what they have learnt and assist with their schoolwork. As a result, children cope with their homework and absorb lessons much better, which helps enable them to participate in class through recitation. Dispensing learning guides specifically tailored for parents gives them the support and materials they need to improve their child’s learning.
- Establish a parent engagement program
In the US, some parents find it hard to get involved in their child’s learning due to time constraints, like a traditional 9-5 schedule. With parent engagement programs, they are given a structured avenue to become more involved in their child’s academic life. These events at school allow families to get to know each other through shared meals, games, and other activities. Everything is laid out for them, and they are generally held on weekends, making it convenient for parents to attend. Mineral Point Elementary implements this through its Families & Schools Together program, which includes free weekly meals, parent-child playtime, and opportunities to meet other parents. Parents who regularly attend the program have increased involvement in their children’s education.
- Give better access to parent-teacher meetings
Parent-teacher meetings allow parents to be directly involved in their child’s school life by gaining insight into how they can help their kids. Unfortunately, many parents in Australia skip parent-teacher meetings because the date and time coincide with their busy schedules. To address this, Rozelle Public School lets parents schedule parent-teacher meetings at any point in the academic year. This increased access encourages parents to attend meetings at a comfortable time for them. This enables them to understand how their child is performing and behaving at school. They can ask questions about their child’s progress, friends, or any concern they may have. Additionally, it lets parents ask about their child at any given time, not only when there may be problems that need to be discussed.
- Regularly communicate with parents
In the UK, some parents want to be updated on their child’s school life without having to go to actual meetings. Of course, this is only with regards to more casual information, like school events, grades, and the like. This is why Downsend School integrated a digital communication platform called Parent Portal, where parents can access academic progress reports, extracurricular activities, and see the status of their child’s homework, among other features. This improves transparency and overcomes any communication issues. With a convenient communication portal, schools can strengthen their relationship with students’ parents and keep them engaged. Parent engagement is something that can be tricky for schools to maintain and increase. With these four strategies, educational institutions can boost parent engagement not only to form better relationships with them but also to help their students achieve academic success.
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