Monday, July 20, 2015

No Surprise Here: Parental Involvement Correlated with Student Achievement

Sometimes researchers devote a lot of time and resources toward “proving” something that seems like plain common sense. A recent meta-analysis (that is, a study that examined the findings of lots of different experiments to search for patterns) certainly seems to fit that trend; it determined that parental involvement is positively correlated with student achievement. The meta-analysis synthesized findings from 37 recent studies carried out in kindergartens and primary and secondary schools.

This finding hardly seems newsworthy, but the study turned up a few interesting points. For example, parental models most linked to high achievement were those in which parents supervised children’s learning activities in a general way. In other words, parents were present and involved without being too domineering. Additionally, parents with high-achieving children set high academic expectations for their kids, communicated with them frequently about school activities, and helped them to develop good reading habits.

To us, this balanced approach to parental involvement feels not only achievable but also authentic. The study indicates that being Super Mom or Super Dad isn’t necessary or even beneficial. Instead, being present while allowing kids to learn and explore, telling them you know they can do well in school, asking questions about their schoolwork, and reading together all seem to help youngsters thrive in their classrooms.

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