Parental involvement in their children’s education is about more than sitting on the school council, organizing a lunch program and fundraising. While these are important contributions, the expectations, behaviours and attitudes children learn and experience at home and the encouragement and support of their parents are key to their success. This is the form of involvement that makes parents true partners in their children’s education.
Children spend only a small proportion of their total waking hours (less than 25%) in the classroom. The first thing parents need to understand about their role in their children’s education then is that what their children do at home and in the community and how they, as parents, shape and react to those experiences are vital to their children’s learning and success in school.
Peter Coleman, a professor at Simon Fraser University with 35 years of experience in education and the author of Learning About Schools, says: “Parental involvement in various kinds of children’s learning is a much stronger predictor of high levels of achievement than anything we know of.” (Quoted in Judy Gibson and Peggy Nicholson, “Partnerships: Supporting and Working with Parents.” French Immersion in Alberta: Building the Future 1998—Conference Report, 1999.)
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