We know parental involvement and engagement is crucial in building the right foundation, especially in early ages. NY Daily reported that a study on homework conducted by University of Tennessee professor of Theory of Practice in Teacher Education, Richard Allington, showed that reading to your child is more effective than homework.
Parental involvement is so important that states from Vermont to Florida have schools ditching homework for it. So crucial, that a whole county in Florida is implementing a "no homework" policy. But why? It is because, regardless of family income or background, it allows children to be more successful. This is not something new. In fact, it dates back 15 years to when Southwest Educational Development Laboratory reported that children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more when parents and schools are more involved.
Then, as parents and schools, how can you be more involved? Parents, it is not about getting your child the latest Fisher-Price toy or the latest app, it is about the time you spend with them and the relationships you build. Do not be content with the in-school activities, spend time with them to plan out-of-school activities. Read to them and get them involved in things they might like such as art and sports. For schools, share decision-making responsibilities with parents. National PTA recommends schools to invite parents to be full-time partners in making school decisions that affect families by sharing what the school expects from parents and vice versa. This can be accomplished by increased communication between school personnel and the parents through open houses, home visits, family nights and well organized parent-teacher conferences.
Though school contribution is crucial, parents you are the main focus for this matter. As parents you might say, we understand the importance of involvement for today, but why does it matter for tomorrow? The way your children will shape their academic future literally depends on these simple moments of engagement. The same studies that proved the importance of parent engagement also showed that children with more involved parents earn higher grades/test scores, attend their school and pass their classes regularly, enroll in higher-level programs, and have better social skills. In fact, the studies even found correlation between parental involvement and going on to post-secondary education and being promoted.
As parents, instead of focusing on homework or the next best toy or the next best app, being more involved with your children allows them time to be creative thinkers, follow their passions, and succeed.