Parents’ involvement in their child’s education has several positive implications on the child’s academic performance. The involvement can take different forms but the main idea is that parents should be in constant communication and consultation with teachers and their children so as to enable their children attain the heights of their academic potential. There are various mechanisms of the association between parents and their children in the education sphere. The involvement is observed to have great implications on the child’s perception of his or her cognitive competence. Besides, constant communication and overall involvement in the child’s education have an impact on the quality of the student-teacher relationship. This discussion looks at how parents’ involvement in the student’s education affects the student’s achievement with respect to family communication.
Education is a complex process that requires the input of parents, teachers and students. Attempts to make parents take a central role in their children’s education have attracted much interest from various governments and policy makers. Parents’ role should not only be perceived to have an impact on promoting their own children’s achievement. It should be looked at in a broader picture as a move that can help to enhance the democratization of schools’ governance. As observed in many cases, the degree of parents’ involvement in learners’ education presents a vital indicator of the quality of the learning process. It means the topic of family communication comes in whenever one talks about parents’ involvement in students’ achievement. Generally, communication is an essential tool that is used for coordination of activities, dissemination of information and maintenance of relationships. Effective communication between parents and their children can have a positive impact on their perception of education and their individual competence. Parents must be in constant communication with their children to help in bringing out their full potential in education (Hill & Craft, 2003).
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Some parents have demonstrated active involvement in facilitating their children’s educational development regardless of the government policies. Some of parents have even insisted on homeschooling their children during the early childhood stages of their education. The parents have known that effective parenting is a basic component that helps in inculcating moral values in children at a young age. Thus, they want to become the first to provide a guideline to their children on moral values and foster the development of a positive attitude towards education in their children.
Through family communication, parents can identify their children’s areas of strengths and weaknesses and allocate part of the family time to share some motivational talks with the children. Effective communication between parents and their children can provide a good foundation of skills and values to children. It helps them to excel in school. In the context of parent-pupil communication, the communication process should start in the family but should extend to the school. In this respect, it is vital for parents to pay regular visits to school so as to have timely consultations with teachers. It is through consistent parent-teacher communication that parents can gather vital information regarding their children’s performance. It also enables them to establish good relationships with teachers. Regular discussions between parents, teachers and students is also an effective approach that parents can take for them to keep abreast with their children’s progress at school and realize the emerging challenges affecting their children. Parent-teacher communication is also essential in the broader sense as it provides room for parents to be actively involved in the school’s practical activities and governance.
The need for parental involvement in improving the achievement of the children in education has been studied by a number of scholars. In another study, Hamre and Pianta (2001) found out that parents serve as perfect mentors for their children so as to narrow down on the challenges encountered in the education process. Student’s success in education is the subject to their ability to overcome challenges resulting from all players in the education process. Without proper mentorship and regular guidance, students can fall victims of circumstances that may hinder them to realise their educational goals. Learning requires a close involvement and concern among the key stakeholders in the educational system. For example, the performance of individual students and the school in general is heavily dependent on the influence of parents, the overall family, peer groups, religious groups and the neighbourhood.
In their article, Hamre and Pianta (2001) also suggest that for students to attain the desired success, parents must open effective channels of communication within the family so that necessary moral values are imparted in the students at the correct time. Morality is essential for learners to overcome various storms that they are likely to encounter in their educational endeavours. On their own, learners who have benefited from proper family communication can use their unique abilities and temperaments to form and reform their behaviour, objectives and achievements. However, it is evident that parents, on their own, cannot help learners to realize their dreams. It is because of the complexity of the learning process that renders the efforts to ascertain the effectiveness of a singular force in shaping students’ achievement to be futile. Thus, Hamre and Pianta (2001) conclude that an effective learning process can only proceed when all stakeholders involved in the learning process realize the role of effective mutual interaction with each other.
The need to foster student-teacher interactions calls for parents’ involvement in the education process. As they analyse the role of a mutual relationship between students and teachers, Hamre and Pianta clearly illustrate the essence of communication. It is good to note that communication starts from the family consisting from parents and their children but it is extended to school by conducting regular consultative meetings with teachers to discuss students’ performance. The research work presented in the article gives a valid account of how parents’ involvement in the students’ learning process can have an impact on the learners’ achievement. This makes the article very relevant to the topic of study.
The findings of the two authors are also supported by Hill and Craft. In their study, Hill and Craft (2003) found out that in a child’s early education, parents’ involvement has a positive association with the learner’s academic performance. In most cases, students who attend schools in the remote setting record low performance as opposed to those who go to urban schools. The difference in the level of performance is attributed to the variance in the level of parents’ involvement in their children’s education. Basically, the learners whose parents show much interest in following up their performance in class record higher levels of academic performance than those whose parents show little concern. The role played by parents’ participation in education has not only attracted the attention of researchers. It is also an area of interest to the larger educational policy formulators. The two note that a child’s performance becomes stable after the early elementary school. The trend gives an interesting concept that needs to be further explored. Thus, in regard to parents’ involvement in their children’s education, it is necessary to investigate the factors that influence the early academic success that are considered to be open to change.
The research presented by Hill and Craft (2003) shows that stimulating and responsive parenting is a major force that influences a child’s academic development. They concluded their study by noting the necessity of developing relevant programs with respect to the particular parenting practices that are considered amenable to change so as to increase children’s academic performance. In their conclusion, they emphasize that much effort should be put in an attempt to understand the mechanisms by which parents’ involvement exerts significant influence on children’s performance. To them, it could be an easy way of establishing highly competent intervention programs that can be used to enhance children’s academic performance.
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On their part, Webster-Stratton, Reid, and Hammond (2001) looked at the various ways through which the involvement of parents in their children’s education can be understood and evaluated. They note that the definition and measurement of parents’ involvement encompass an examination of various activities in which parents take part while at home and at school. It also looks at the attitudes that parents have towards their child’s learning process, the school in which the child learns and the teachers educate. In their findings, the researchers note that in some cases, increased frequency of parents’ involvement in their children’s activities at school results into high levels of students’ misbehaviour at school. This is often the case in a situation where parents fail to spend time explaining to their children the role that they intend to play in the children’s academics. As such, students suspect the parents to be spying them. They get themselves in a compromising state where they strain a lot to conform to their parents’ expectations. In the long run, the main objectives of the parents’ involvement get watered down as their relationship with the children gets worse. In their conclusion, Webster-Stratton, Reid, and Hammond (2001) suggest that parents need to take time to inculcate a positive attitude in their children. This is a high level of them involving themselves in the education of their children. It enables students to show remarkable trends of an improved academic performance. In other occasions, parents can intensify their involvement in children’s activities at school to help teachers in correcting some unwanted behaviour.
Webster-Stratton, Reid, and Hammond (2001) present an interesting aspect of parents’ involvement in the learning process. According to them, the significance of attitude towards education cannot be assumed. Attitudes are believed to have the ability to compromise a major aspect of communication and, therefore, the relationship between parents and the school. During out-of-school hours, parents communicate the positive attitudes about education to their children. The attitudes conveyed to the children are reflected in their behaviour while in class just as it influences teachers’ relationship with students and parents. It is an indication that there is a close link between parents’ involvement and students’ achievement in the education process. The article presented an exhaustive analysis of the various forms of parent’s involvement. It adds up to the perceived strength of the article in this study as it clearly highlights different forms in which parents can influence their children’s education outcome.
Hill and Tyson (2009) introduce the concept of assessment. They state that parents should get involved in conducting an assessment of academic performance in the early elementary school. Assessment is done by the use of several methods including the application of standardized achievement test scores and report card grades. Every learning process is considered incomplete without effective assessment. Through assessment, parents can observe the trend in their children’s performance over a given duration. By communicating to the children the reasons why they are useful and using standardized achievement tests, teachers and parents can assess the skills and abilities that learners acquire through direct instruction. The report card grades can also be used by teachers to communicate student’s performance to parents so that they are well informed of every improvement or drop in their children’s performance. The basic point of interest is to bring parents on board so that they can have a say in their children’s educational development. Equally, it enriches their communication with their children since it is done on a well informed basis. When concerned parents take time to go through their children’s academic reports, they can intervene where there is a need.
Through effective family communication, parents also play a great role in increasing learners’ perceived level of competence. The rate at which children acquire cognitive ability and how they perceive things are determined by other factors based on some theoretical pathways. The theoretical pathways include performance accomplishment pathway, vicarious reinforcement pathway, emotion regulation and verbal persuasion (Hill & Tyson, 2009). On the basis of research findings, Hill and Tyson (2009) conclude that a student’s increased perception of his or her cognitive competence is linked to higher academic performance. The pathways are important influential avenues by which parents influence how their children perform in school. For example, through the accomplishment pathway, parents help students in setting targets that they should always strive to meet. Whenever students work on meeting a target, they feel much more motivated as the target serves to provide a direction for them. Through effective family communication, parents keep on encouraging their children to stop at nothing less than the set target. To make the process complete, parents have to show their willingness to intervene, through providing the necessary resources to their children. As such, students’ cognitive competence can be examined to understand how parents’ involvement and a child’s academic performance relate. The article introduces a significant aspect in the learning process. Through its investigation of the role of perceived level of competence, the article provides a substantial finding about the impact of parents’ involvement in the learning process on the learners’ perceived level of competence. Hill and Tyson (2009) clearly show a connection between parents’ involvement in the education process, through effective communication, and the student’s level of achievement. Therefore, the article supports the thesis of this study that seeks to affirm that parents should be involved in students’ education for students to achieve their greatest educational potential.
Kim (2002) gives a report of a research on the relationship between parents’ involvement and children’s achievement. His research is a case study of Korea. The study shows the significant relationship between parents’ involvement and student’s academic development. Based on the findings of the research, it emerges that students heavily depend on the guidelines that they are given by their parents for them to be motivated to work hard in school. Kim (2002) recognises that students from low income families are in a great need of parents’ involvement for them to do well in education. The need for parents’ involvement is attached to the parents’ ability to provide for their children’s educational needs. It also requires the parents to be involved in constant communication with them to be able to address emerging social and psychological concerns as the child develops. To investigate the relationship between parents involvement and children’s educational achievement, the study used multiple regression analysis where the variables with and without parents’ involvement were used. The results of the study show that strict home supervision has more impact on students’ performance compared to parents and school contact. The study indicates various parental involvement factors that have impact on student’s performance. It shows that parents are the first source of instruction that need to govern student’s behaviour formation.
Based on the link that the study establishes between parents’ involvement through strict home supervision and students’ achievement, it is worth stating that the article supports the thesis of this study. In the article, Kim (2002) concludes by stating that each ethnic group in Korea has realized the need for parent involvement in student’s education. As such, the ethnic groups have developed distinct family processes that give room to parental involvement in education. The findings of this research are viable owing the extensive data collection process that was involved. In the process of data collection, there were two different sets of questionnaires that were filled by students and parents. The student population that was chosen was the Korean students. They completed the survey with questions related to their family background, the level of parental involvement, and their academic achievement over a given duration. Similarly, parents were involved in the research as they completed a survey that had questions related to their level of acculturation, the background of their families and how involved they are in their children’s academics.
The findings have shown that parents have a role to play in facilitating a positive student-teacher relationship. Such a relationship is understood to exist when the teacher perceives his or her relation with the student to be characterized by closeness and absence of excessive dependency and confrontations. Closeness is understood with respect to the level of the existence of open communication between a teacher and a student and that of a parent and a child. Kim emphasized that parents get involved in student’s achievement in education by reducing the degree of friction between the student and the teacher. A close positive teacher-student relation is closely related to learners’ positive social and academic achievements (Kim, 2002). To achieve the utmost results, parents provide their children with the basic school requirements that make teacher instructions more effective. By encouraging student-teacher communication, parents help their children to feel free to consult the teacher on problematic concepts in a given subject. While back at home, family communication also provides an opportunity for children to consult their parents and report various challenges that threaten to lower their academic performance. Effective teacher-student communication, facilitated by the parent, helps to reduce the social distance between teachers and learners. It impacts positively on the learning outcome as it expels fears from learners.
Communication is a dynamic process that keeps on changing with the emergence of new technologies. It is evident that the trends observed in technological advancements have largely threatened the role of parents and the church as the determinants of morality for their children. This makes the need for effective family communication a basic necessity if children are to achieve better results in school. Currently, children are highly exposed to the social media through computer and the internet technology. As they watch various literatures from the new media, children are exposed to the risk of moral decay. The situation is made worse by the fact that new media contents are free from the control of parents. Thus, students can access any form of information without the parents’ knowledge. The future trends in the field of communication present an overwhelming need for parents to become more involved in their children’s education. In this situation, parents need to be involved as they provide moral guidance to students on the usefulness and dangers of media contents. They must no longer shy off from discussing issues related to their children’s sexual activities. Equally, it is essential for students to be well informed about the risks of becoming much attracted to some forms of new media contents like pornography. Without a close supervision from parents, technological advancements may fully erode cultural morality and pollute students’ minds (Hill & Craft, 2003).
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that future studies should focus on how parents can utilize family communication to mitigate the negative impacts of technology on the educational achievement of their children. In addition, schools should initiate measures to incorporate parents in various activities they organize. This can be done by establishing effective communication channels between teachers and parents. If parents are ignorant about the academic progress of their children, they are unlikely to commit their involvement. Boosting communication can involve sending weekly newsletters to parents so as to inform them about their children’s performance in class. Learning institutions should also consider providing volunteer opportunities to parents so as to attract their interest in school activities. Volunteer opportunities can involve the allocation of adequate time for parents to visit their children at school. School visits present an opportunity for parents to interact with teachers. Teachers can also consider giving students some interactive homework assignments that can bring parents and their children together. Teachers, parents and students are important stakeholders in the education process. It is necessary for blended learning approaches to be established as it can incorporate the stakeholders in and out of the classroom. Parents should realise the need to create conducive home environment to promote learning and be fully involved in the learning process.