Influence of Family on Education

It is said that family is one of the most crucial partners when it comes to learning and promoting different kinds of social skills. You will notice that teachers are urged to keep the parent informed about their child’s education progress use various modes. This includes parent visitation to childcare or school setting, telephone conversations, newsletters, home visits, informal notes, bulletin boards, workshops, and regular face-to-face communication. All of these are focused on what the child is actually doing at school - and whether or not their parents are ware of the same.

In all of these instances, guidance strategies coming from the parents and more importantly - the entire family are to be truly effective. There is no denying that with parent involvement, there is a positive growth seen in children of all ages. It is for this reason that you will find many early care providers making an attempt to invite parents to be a part of the education process and learning.

Here is how parents can help in their child’s overall education process -

Making Parents An Active Part of School Education

There is an active involvement of the parents in these programs for understanding the child's background and getting an idea of what the family's goals for the child are. It is done to see if the family and cultural diversities are in sync and via this mode, the care provider can encourage communication. Remember that accepting the different kinds of family traits, cultures, views, etc. is vital for helping understand the child too. There is a sense of belonging in early childhood programs that comes with active involvement of the parents.
  • Developing healthy relationships of mutual trust with families of students
  • Help students to acknowledge and build upon strengths and competencies that are vital in nurturing their overall growth
  • Respecting the dignity of different families on the basis of culture, language, customs, and beliefs
  • Get familiar with the child-rearing values and help parents in making the right decisions for their children
  • Helping family members in improving the overall understanding of their children and enhance their skills as parents
Today, children are interacting with diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, and language. Cosmopolitan school culture means that your child is being raised in an environment that is very different from its own. Hence, the active involvement and participation of families in their programs is vital. Parents here become a source of information and are provided meaningful roles in their child's education. Teachers here involve the parent in the activities of the school and try to get an insight into their upbringing

Eliminating Peer Pressure

Any kind of education - be it character or academic does not happen at home alone! There is no doubt that the entire world has a huge influence on our kids. But instead of completely eliminating and denying peer pressure, you can use it as a way to learn. It is here that parents should constantly ask themselves on how they can improve and alter this peer pressure in a more constructive way for education. “How do you feel when your friends treat you a certain way?”  or “what do you look for in a friend?”  Educational pressure on the peer front involves comparison in terms of grades, studies, class performance, etc. Some of the factors that parents can help out with in terms of education would be-
  • What are the kids watching on the television or the Internet? Is it something that is increasing peer pressure and eliminating their educational efforts?
  • How much are the teachers involved in the process of education. In particular, if a child is bright and has a knack for particular subject, but suddenly takes a dislike to the same - could it be cause of the teacher.
  • What is really happening on the school front? Often, children feel that they are not really aligned or associated with the same values at school as they are at home. This clash of ideas could result or turn out to be a hindrance for them.
Parents Serving As Good Models

There is no doubt that the first steps of education begin at home and you don’t have to be the perfect model parent for them. You have to be there for them at each stage. Be it a teen who’s having issues being bullied by high school students or a toddler who has just gone into kindergarten, it is the parent that they look up to as models. So in this part of the education process, you have to be focused on what you are good at and help your children take a cue from that.
  • Help them out with their homework or any other academic purpose they need help. As a role model, you should help them to get independent through little steps rather than just letting them be stuck alone in a dire situation.
  • If you are reading a good book or novel, share your insights and perspectives about the same and why you like. Encouraging them to read and see things that help their overall personality growth is more important.
  • Don’t just blindly go by grades. The idea is to see how your child operforms at different levels. Education is all about improvement with hard work and if you are always snappy about their performance, there is no motivation here. For instance, if you are overweight and successfully implemented a weight loss program, share it with them.

How Parental Involvement Benefits A Child’s Education

This is a proven theory, which comes from years of research and statistics. Most of these studies reveal that parents who are more actively involved in the education process have childcare who are actively involved in different aspects of live and turn out to be successful individuals out of school. Parental involvement in the school level is not something that should be easily set aside because it plays a crucial part in the emotional and academic education of the child. Today, many parents may be pressurized because of work and other social obligations that they don’t tend to be there for many things. You could have missed out your daughter’s piano recital or soccer game or were not there for your son’s first theatre performance. What happens here is that the child takes a setback and feels there is no motivation for them to do well. But being involved in their education process means a lot to them and eventually they try to fare better in these areas to please their parents. Here are some of the positive aspects that comes out of helping children become more involved in family matters and also parents being more involved in the entire education process-
  • Children are able to get better grades and test scores - be it for any arena
  • They are able to pass out from high school at higher rates
  • They are also more likely to go for higher education and have a more positive and happy outlook towards life.
  • This is also a safe financial investment if you would like to call it the same. But studies show that students who were graduates and went for higher studies earned at least $200,000 more in their lifetime than students who drop out. So when your kids are earning more and living happier life, it reflects positive on your parenting too.
  • You don’t have to be earning a bomb or showering expensive educational books on your children to help them learn better. The education process starts at home without these books. You can help them learn via everyday things be it math or science.

What is “Family Involvement in Education”?

However, one of the fine things that you should remember here is that there is difference in being involved in family education and pressurizing or being over-involved. Your kids would love to have you around during difficult math problems or on home projects they are unable to do on their own. As parent you should actively take part and offer guidance and mentoring. But you should also know how to stop. So here’s a list of the things that you should do and what you should not do when being a part of the education process-
  • For the little ones and even for some older ones, reading a bedtime story to your preschool child
  • Checking homework every night and ask them how their day was. Do you need help or is there anything that I can guide you with?
  • Getting involved in PTA is highly recommended to stay updated about all that is happening around. Especially with teens, it is a great way to keep secret eye on them.
  • Discussing your child’s progress with teachers during meets and visits is suggested
  • Voting in school board elections
  • Helping your school to set challenging academic standards. Don’t have to be very strict or keep boasting about how well you did as a student.
  • Limiting TV viewing to no more than two hours on school nights. You can set limits that work as per your home standards too.
  • Getting personally involved in matter of the school
  • Do discuss issues and things that are related to your children.
  • Make sure that the entire family is involved where needed. If you cannot help them out on a particular school night, then ask your older child to guide them out. This way, you are also helping your entire family to be involved in the education process instead of just you or your spouse.
  • You can all spend time reading, playing or being involved in an outdoors educational aspect. This could mean field trips, taking them to the library or museum or simply spending a day in the garden doing a science survey. If you make them realize that education is not actually boring and can be fun, they automatically get into the power mode.
  • Make sure your child goes to school every day. Keep an eye out for school notes or absent notes.
  • You can also establish a regular time for homework each afternoon or evening. A little bit of this time together helps you interact and works well as a family time too.    

What should you not do?

As a parent it is rather easy to get carried away. And some parents do tend to be over-involved in the education process. Now that is a strict no-no. First of all, it will only dissuade your children from doing better. Being an active parent who is involved is something that all kids love, but running to school with their lunch box is something that they don’t. So you should know where to draw the line. If your teen says he doesn’t need help, may be they are able to do something on their own. So don’t get involved too much or seem pushy.
  • Don’t just give up easily and make negative remarks like 'you cannot do anything right. Not only is it disheartening but you are setting forward an example that failure is acceptable. Instead, say things like let’s work on this later when we freshen up.
  • What you also should not be doing here is raising awareness of achievement gaps between your children. Doing so or comparing one to another is something that will only make things worse on your family front and really provide no benefit on the educational front.
  • Do not push your child beyond certain boundaries. If your child is not doing well in a particular subject, then instead of pushing things to the extent that they start hating the subject, help them to like the subject. Think of innovative solutions here instead of taking things too far.

Blaming the Education System

Also, do not blame the school for failures or poor education standards. If you are unhappy with your children’s school, you can transfer them to another institution. But when doing this, in away you are holding schools accountable and becoming more involved in the governance and delivery of education. This should not be the case. Active participation or discussion of issues is something that all teachers would welcome. But beyond that, you cannot be over-active in the decision process of the school. And at the end of the day, you cannot really keep on doing this every time you are unhappy about a particular educational system or institution.

On the whole, it is the responsibility of the parent to take active participation in the entire process of education but know where to draw the limits. You should be supportive and be there when needed but also know when to step back and enjoy the feel of victory or feeling of having helped your child achieve something. But on the whole, spending time with your child is not only essential for the basic education process but also helps in overall grooming. Education cannot be just restricted or limited to the academic front. There is a lot that parents have to teach their kids and inspire them to do better in life during this ordeal. On the whole, take out that extra time for your routine and make sure that your kid does the same. This way, you can connect and learn together for a better educational future for your child.
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