Studies consistently show that a parent’s involvement in the child’s school is one of the biggest predictors for later academic success. Involvement, however, is not a one-time event and can occur in various ways from the moment the child enters school until they graduate.
What can you do to promote your child’s achievement in school?
Unsure of where to start? LaRocque et al. (2011) offer some specific activities other parents have to be more engaged in their child’s school, which include:
- Attending school-hosted functions,
- Helping your child with his or her homework,
- Sharing your expertise or experience with your child’s class through guest speaking,
- Taking on leadership roles at your child’s school,
- Visiting your child’s classroom, and
- Volunteering at your child’s school.
Parents can also adopt certain practices or mindsets with their child at home to promote academic achievement. Some ideas include:
- Encouraging your child’s independence. Children whose parents helped foster feelings of independence and self-efficacy are more likely to set positive achievement goals and feel confident in their academic ability (Bal & Baruss, 2011; Levpuscek et al., 2012).
- Emphasizing to your child early on the importance of all subjects, but especially math. Early support can be one of the biggest influences on later success, especially for boys (Ing, 2014a; Ing, 2014b).
- Talking to your child about education regardless of their current academic performance. One study suggests that parents only talk to their children about education when their performance is down, which does little to promote achievement (Lee & Bowen, 2007; Stewart, 2008).
- Evaluating your child according to his or her mastery of a skill, not his or her performance. Studies show that holding children to goals that emphasize performance (i.e., a good grade) over mastery (i.e., understanding) may result in a high fear of failure and unhealthy achievement goals (Bal & Baruss, 2011; Levpuscek et al., 2012).
- Enrolling your child in an extracurricular activity. One study finds that extracurricular activities, especially in high school, can give children access to valuable resources critical for academic and social achievement (Morris, 2015).