4 evidence-based ways parents improve student achievement

These four parent-engagement strategies will help teachers encourage the behaviors that impact achievement the most

3. High expectations aren’t just for teachers
We know that teacher expectations have a big impact on student achievement. What’s lesser known but equally as impactful are parent expectations for students. Two reports from 2005 and 2009 looked at a variety of parent behaviors and found that parental expectations and parenting style were significant predictors of higher achievement in both elementary and middle school. In fact, expectations were the most generalizable result from all the parent research, across all populations and ages. When teachers encourage parents to believe in their student and expect them to do well, it fosters self-confidence and makes a big difference in how students perform.

Takeaway: Set high expectations for your child, communicate those expectations with them often, and encourage them along the way—both when they struggle and when they’re successful.

4. Academic socialization: making high achievement normal
As mentioned above, parents who expect good school behaviors from their students often get them, but it’s not enough to expect achievement in the present. Parents should also socialize longer term and lifelong educational goals. This is especially true with older students. According to a 2009 study, academic socialization included parents’ expectations for academic achievement, fostering academic aspirations in children, discussing learning strategies, and planning for children’s academic future, and all of these activities increased student achievement significantly.

Takeaway: Make academic success a norm in your home. Talk with your children about their future aspirations and foster a success mindset by helping them set goals to work towards.

Setting students up for success requires cooperation between educators and parents. These four evidence-based parent-engagement strategies will help teachers encourage the parent behaviors that impact achievement the most.

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