ST. LOUIS, Jan. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The educational achievement gap still looms wide for millions of students as they look toward the new year.
"Since the 1980's we have known that the earlier in a child's educational life parental involvement begins, the more powerful the results," says Cathy Viney, Teaching Strategies Expert and Executive Director of the nonprofit Applied Scholastics International at www.appliedscholastics.org. "Decades of research show that when parents are involved, students achieve higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates, better school attendance, increased motivation and self-esteem, lower rates of suspension, decreased use of drugs and alcohol and fewer instances of violent behavior."
According to a review of 29 studies of school-parent programs, family participation in education was twice as predictive of students' academic success as family socioeconomic status. Some of the more intensive programs had effects that were 10 times greater than other factors.1 The most effective forms of parent involvement are those, which engage parents in working directly with their children on learning activities at home.2
"This is astonishing news," adds Ms. Viney. "Rich or poor, wealth or poverty is less of a factor, whereas parental involvement ranks from 2 to 10 times as important in predicting academic success. This is why we urge parents to make the following New Year's Resolutions aimed at closing the achievement gap and helping their child succeed in school."
- Communication -- Resolve to have more communication with your child's teacher and school. Communication between home and school is vital. Communicate on a regular and meaningful way.
- Parenting -- Resolve to improve your parenting skills which would include daily communication about school with your child. When you show interest, your child will know that you care. Take your child on trips, play games together, and visit the library. Lead by example – show that you value education by taking classes yourself or let your child see you spending time reading.
- Student Learning -- Resolve to help your child with learning and school. Parents play a vital role in helping their child in the learning process. Establish a homework routine and provide your child with a good place to study -- away from distractions like TV, video games, the phone, or loud music. Provide dictionaries and make sure your child understands the meanings of the words that they encounter in school and in their books. Read to your child or have him or her read to you every day.
- Volunteering -- Resolve to volunteer at school to help in the classroom, library, office, or on field trips. Volunteering can help parents further connect with their child's teacher and school and make communication between parent and teacher more real and more purposeful.
- School Decision Making -- Resolve to attend school board meetings and get involved with a parent-teacher organization or site council. Become a real partner in the decisions that affect your child and others in your child's school.
A Free Guide entitled, "Optimizing Student Achievement with the Applied Scholastics Model of Individualized Instruction -- a Proven Solution to One-Size-Fits-All" is available at www.appliedscholastics.org or call Toll free: 877-75-LEARN.
About Applied Scholastics International Since 1972, the nonprofit Applied Scholastics International has been a trusted authority on the subject of teaching strategies and proficiency based learning. The Applied Scholastics Achievement Programa (ASAP) provides a proven system that helps parents, teachers and schools improve the lives of ALL students of all ages including those negatively affected by learning difficulties and the social, economic and emotional issues associated with these difficulties. For more information, go to www.appliedscholastics.org.
- Walberg (1984) in his review of 29 studies of school–parent programs. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Final_Parent_Involvement_Fact_Sheet_14732_7.pdf
- Cotton, K., Wikelund, K., Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, School Improvement Research
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SOURCE Applied Scholastics International