In ongoing quests to improve academic performance and opportunities among schoolchildren, those involved in education as well as child counseling and related fields have been placing a strong emphasis on parental involvement in scholastic life. A highlighted issue for many years, the involvement of parents in the fostering of positive academic habits and the establishment of a consistent presence in school life through frequent visits and other actions has been promoted as a crucial component of early academic success. Hoping to gauge the precise effect of parental involvement, researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recently published the results of a study which followed young children from their birth until the fifth grade.
The researchers looked at the impact of various modes of parent involvement in early scholastic life, from making frequent visits to the school to encouraging schoolwork and related themes at home. The results strongly suggested that increased involvement was linked to a lower instance of behavioral issues in school, and a connection between parent involvement and increased social skills was also found. Advantages in academic performance, however, were not seen, though the researchers note that this lack of advantage may be due to the absence of specific academic activities performed by parents during the study.
Still, the ability of parental involvement to improve behavior and social well-being suggests that a parent’s role in early scholastic life can be crucial for both success and for enjoyment, goals that may help children experience a better quality of schooling as they age and take on greater academic challenges. Though further study may be needed to determine the point at which the benefits of such involvement wanes, if any such point exists, the researchers note that their results demonstrate a significant indication of how helpful and essential early parental involvement in school can be.
© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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