As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Many stakeholders help guide our child’s learning journey: aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, caregivers, and teachers. And most importantly, parents. Parent involvement in their child’s development is the most crucial component. This is not a new concept. For decades, researchers have cited one key success factor that outweighs nearly all others, including socioeconomic status, student background, or the kind of school a child attends…and that success factor is parental involvement. Kids whose parents stay involved have better attendance and behavior, get better grades, demonstrate better social skills, adapt better, and are set up to develop a lifelong love of learning. But what exactly is parent involvement?

According to the National PTA, parental involvement includes 3 key parent behaviors:

  1. Creating a home environment that encourages learning
  2. Communicating high, yet reasonable, expectations for achievement
  3. Staying involved in a child’s education at school

Parent Involvement: Bridging the gap inside and outside the classroom 🏫

Parental involvement is the first step toward engagement. Said differently, it’s the stepping stone to bridging a child’s learning journey inside and outside the classroom. For parents to provide effective involvement though, they need to be informed. Informed on how their child is doing in the classroom and on the right resources that may be able to help outside of it. Unfortunately, in today’s reality, parents are woefully uninformed, or too much effort is required to become informed. Parents today lead busy lives, and teachers often don’t have enough hours in the day to provide frequent enough advice (i.e., weekly) and support on a child-by-child basis.

As a result, the bridge between inside and outside the classroom can’t be made. This has a significant impact since research has found that the earlier educators establish this bridge, the more effective they are in raising student performance.

Tips on how to get involved 💡

We are often told things that we know we should be doing. What prevents us from getting started is a lack of actionable steps on how to do so. We discussed a few key parent behaviors that help define parent involvement, but here are a few tips to actually become a more involved parent:

Make learn­ing a pri­or­i­ty in your home

Estab­lish­ing rou­tines and sched­ules that enable chil­dren to com­plete home­work, read inde­pen­dent­ly, get enough sleep and have oppor­tu­ni­ties to get help from you. Understand your child's learning style and cater to it at home. Talk about what’s going on in school.

Read to and with your chil­dren

Even 10–20 min­utes dai­ly makes a dif­fer­ence. And par­ents can go fur­ther by ensur­ing that they read more each day as well, either as a fam­i­ly or pri­vate read­ing time that sets a good example.

Use your com­mute to con­nect with your kids

One time management hack for busy parents is to find a productive use of "dead time," such as your daily commute. Applied here, you can ask them to read to you while you drive and encour­age con­ver­sa­tions about school.

Eat meals togeth­er

It’s the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to find out more about what’s going on in school.

One common theme you probably noticed is talking to your kids about what’s happening in school. Parents can more effectively supplement their learning outside the classroom by staying on top of what’s happening inside the classroom. Children don’t need to spend hours every day outside of school practicing, but a consistent routine is key. This can be 3-5 days a week for 20-30 minutes a day.

In one study, researchers looked at lon­gi­tu­di­nal data on math achieve­ment and found that effec­tive­ly encour­ag­ing fam­i­lies to sup­port stu­dents’ math learn­ing at home was asso­ci­at­ed with high­er per­cent­ages of stu­dents who scored at or above pro­fi­cien­cy on stan­dard­ized math achieve­ment tests. We detail the best learning apps for kids to help you achieve this.

How Beehive can serve as the parent involvement bridge 🌉

At Beehive, we strive to provide parents with the tools and resources to be involved and help guide their child’s learning journey. We want to serve as your bridge inside to outside the classroom. With Beehive, you will be able to easily log and track how your child is doing, stay organized around upcoming events and assignments, and we will provide you with the right personalized learning content at the right time. Saving you time and stress.

Not only will this help parents, but it will also benefit teachers. Parents that are involved can be an essential source of information for teachers. Teachers that know more about their students can better prepare and feel equipped with the right information to push students to learn more. This creates an incredible growth loop for our kids.