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Mel Gravely

Parent involvement is key to children’s success


We currently have lively discussions going on in my LinkedIn group, and I want to share some of the comments and insights of my fellow  members. In one of the discussions someone posed the question, “Is parent involvement worth the effort?”

Before we get into the discussion, you should know the makeup of the group members. Many of them are Head Start managers and officers; some are teachers, youth advocates, and social services specialists. We have several early childhood education college professors, a health & family community services manager, and a foster care expert. There are also some C-level executives, and authors of children’s books and educational materials, among others. It is a highly educated group of people, and I’m grateful to be associated with these individuals who are sharing their insights in various discussions.

Is parent involvement worth the effort?

The obvious (and unanimous) response was a resounding “yes.” Research has shown that the more that parents are involved in their children’s education, the better off their kids will be, emotionally and academically.

Here are some of the comments from the discussion:

  • “Parent involvement is the magic bullet! How to engage them (children) is critical.” Rather then tell them “do this” or “do that,” give them tools, like educational DVDs, videos, and books.
  • “Parent involvement is the key that can either block a child from finding school interesting, or can unlock a spark for school that will last throughout college. Parents can drive the train of excitement and interest in learning that builds a successful framework for children to continue to build upon each school year.”
  • “We are doing children a disservice if parents are not involved in their education. Parents will gain satisfaction from knowing they helped their children learn, and children will gain the belief that their parents believe in them.”

One of the concerns that several of the group members expressed was how to get working parents more involved with their children. Many single parents, families with both parents working, and those parents with two jobs, are challenged to find the time to get involved with their children’s education.

What do you think? How do you think working parents can get more involved? I would love to hear your comments!

Other resources for parent involvement:

Do you know of other related resources? Post the links here.

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