Youth, Parents, and Communities - Benefits

The Importance of Family Involvement in Education

Increased involvement of parents and families often is cited as one of the most important ways to improve public schools. A variety of studies confirms that parent involvement makes an enormous impact on students' attitude, attendance, and academic achievement. Although some working and single parents may be unable to contribute to schools because of work commitments and time constraints, educators are discovering many additional ways that parents can help students and their schools. Some of these ways are dependent upon the school's desire to involve parents.

To effect change, parents must find time to participate in their children's education while schools must provide the supports necessary for them to be involved. The resulting partnerships between parents and teachers will increase student achievement and promote better cooperation between home and school. Together these efforts will connect families and schools to help children succeed in school and in their future.

As parents and families become more involved in the education of their children, everybody wins. Below are just a few examples of the benefits of enhanced family involvement:

Student Benefits

  • Higher grades and test scores
  • Better attendance and more homework done
  • Fewer placements in special education
  • More positive attitudes and behavior
  • Higher graduation rates
  • Greater enrollment in post-secondary education

School Benefits

  • Improved teacher morale
  • Higher ratings of teachers by parents
  • More support from families
  • Higher student achievement
  • Better reputations in the community

Parent Benefits

As a result of increased involvement in their children's education, parents and families develop more confidence in the school. The teachers they work with have higher opinions of them as parents and higher expectations of their children, too. As a result, parents develop more confidence not only about helping their children learn at home, but about themselves as parents. Furthermore, when parents become involved in their children's education, they often enroll in continuing education to advance their own schooling.

Family and school benefit when they cooperate. Children feel that these two institutions--by far the most important in their lives--overlap and are integrated. Parents who help their children succeed academically gain a sense of pride in their children and themselves.

Simple Steps To Get Involved in Your Child's Education

  1. Identify some ways to answer the question "How can I be involved in my child's education?"
  2. Read to younger children
  3. Provide a variety of reading materials in the home and frequently take children to the library
  4. Promote school attendance and discourage absenteeism
  5. Monitor children's television viewing
  6. Provide a quiet place for children to do homework; help with or check homework every night
  7. Encourage children to participate in learning activities when school is not in session
  8. Encourage children's efforts in school
  9. Help children choose appropriate preparatory courses in middle, junior high, and high school
  10. Remain aware of the importance of parent involvement at the secondary school level and continue to stay involved
  11. Keep in touch with children's teachers