Six benefits of parent participation

Parental involvement in your child’s education is strongly valued and appreciated at St Andrew’s. I have previously discussed the role parents can play to support, rather than intervene when their child  experiences disappointment or challenges. This approach to solving problems is not to be confused with lack of involvement. There are many positive ways that a parent can support and contribute to their child’s education. As a College, we appreciate that parents and volunteers, in effect, are co-educators supporting our teaching staff and our co-curricular program. Research clearly shows the positive effects of parent involvement on children, families, and school where parents continuously support and encourage their child’s learning. According to Henderson and Berla (1994), "the most accurate predictor of a student's achievement in school is not income or social status but the extent to which that student's family is able to:

  1. Create a home environment that encourages learning
  2. Express high (but not unrealistic) expectations for their children's achievement and future careers
  3. Become involved in their children's education at school and in the community”.

They conclude that parent involvement in activities that are effectively planned and well implemented result in substantial benefits to children, parents, educators, and the school. Some of the benefits for the child include:

  1. Children tend to achieve more, regardless of ethnic or racial background, socioeconomic status, or parents' education level.
  2. Children generally achieve better grades, test scores, and attendance.
  3. Children consistently complete their homework.
  4. Children have better self-esteem, are more self-disciplined, and show higher aspirations and motivation toward school.
  5. Children's positive attitude about school often results in improved behaviour in school.
  6. High school students whose parents remain involved usually make better transitions and are less likely to drop out of school. 

Parental involvement enables our College to provide many programs and opportunities for our students that would not otherwise be possible. Through participation, parents and the school become active partners in the child’s educational journey. Being involved and working in partnership demonstrates to our students that we value education, that we place great priority and importance on the acquisition of knowledge, and that we are all working in partnership for the greater good of each child. We could not achieve all we do without parental support.

However, it is not just within the school gates that this partnership and parent involvement is bound. Outside of the classroom and when at home, finding practical ideas for parents to engage in learning in a way that is fun and purposeful takes time. The following parent-friendly website provides a range of literacy and numeracy activities designed to support the Australian Curriculum for primary school children. You can browse by your child’s year level, or search for a topic, and the website will suggest ideas, activities, games and videos designed to support your child’s learning. This is free for parents to access.

Ongoing parental involvement reaps benefits in many ways, including shaping positive attitudes to learning and supporting student achievement. We value your participation!

Mr Rob Paterson