In recent years, the push for educators to base teaching policies and practices in evidence has been growing stronger. Topics like seat time, retention, class size, and learning styles have all come under scrutiny because research indicates they don’t influence student achievement as much as we’d like. As the new school year begins, it’s worth taking a look at the evidence in a commonly overlooked area—parent involvement—so we can maximize what matters for student achievement.
It’s widely accepted that students whose parents are involved in their education do better in school. In fact, that link is so strong that districts often have policies to encourage parental involvement. The good news is that it’s difficult to find a way parents engage with schools that has a harmful effect on students, but there are four things parents can do that have a greater impact on achievement than anything else: parent tutoring, supporting homework, communicating expectations about learning, and academic socialization.
1. Encourage parents to actively teach their students
We often assume all good teaching comes from teachers, but parents can be great teachers too. Research into reading acquisition found that training parents to teach their children to read was better than teaching parents to listen to their children read aloud or having parents read aloud to their children. An earlier study in 2006 showed similar results for every content area and age level, no matter how long the tutoring sessions were or what kind of instruction or modeling was provided to the parents.…Read More