The Washington Post recently ran an article about a parent whose request to sit in on school classes was turned down and the article raises issues about parental involvement in their child’s education. There are obviously plusses and minuses concerning such involvement but the extent of involvement and the nature of the involvement are important factors for parents to look at.
How parental involvement can help
Parental involvement should extend beyond making sure that their kids go to school, paying their fees and attending the requisite PTA meetings. Parental involvement can help the child comprehend lessons better and help the child be better organized in their studies.
This can help in finding out if the child needs extra attention in one other another subject and guide the child when required.
Parents can also help to create a home environment more conducive to study and can teach valuable time management to kids. So clearly involvement can help a child’s academic progress.
Parental involvement in the child’s schooling can also help to detect problems such as bullying or other issues that a child may be facing in school.
Parental involvement improves communication between the teacher and parent which is a good thing because it is in the best interests of the child.
At what point does the involvement become too much?
While parental involvement in the child’s education is clearly a good and desirable thing, there is such a thing as too much involvement.
The Washington Post’s article about the parent wanting to sit in on their child’s class can be an example of rather overzealous parents. While the parents may have a perfectly valid point, wanting to observe firsthand what their child will be experiencing. But to look at this from a teacher’s point of view, would this not be disruptive to the class? Would it not undermine the teacher’s authority and inhibit them?
Then there is the fact that too much parental involvement could hamper a child’s developing independence and could make the child reliant upon their parent for completing homework and coping with academics.
A child could also feel embarrassed at an over-involved parent who speaks to the teacher all the time and appears in school for little or no reason. This can cause peer pressure issues that a parent ought to be sensitive to.
In conclusion, parental involvement should be of an appropriate nature and extent. It should also be age appropriate; altering with the child’s age and their academic and emotional needs.