Parental Involvement and Home SchoolCollaboration is not uncommon from kindergarten to secondary school around theworld. It is a very important way for parents and teachers peek into children’s world no matter at home or in school and the connections between the school and thehome.Traditionaldefinitions of parental involvement are limited to school-related activities,such as helping children with homework, discussing children’s experiences atschool, communication with the school and participation in school-basedactivities.(reference1) Based onthe National PTA website define “parent involvement” as the participation ofparents in every facet of children’s education and development from birth toadulthood, recognizing that parents are the primary influence in children’slives.(reference 2) Also, the term of “parental involvement” means the participationof parents in regular, two-way, meaningful communication involving studentacademic learning and other school activities.
(reference 3) For instance, parent as child’s educator to assist their children’slearning at home; parents take the initiative to participate in the activitiesheld by the school. In Hong Kong, many kindergartens invite parents asvolunteers to storytelling, bazaar and some activities like sports day,graduation ceremony and field trip regularly. It usually takes once in one ortwo months. This helps parents to understand children’s learning status inschool.The purpose of parental involvementstrengthening the communication between parents and teachers, assisting theactivities that organized by school or teaching in school, parents participatein the decision making as well in school. In the viewof parental involvement, teacher’sburden will be reduced because of the help from parents as volunteer. Forexample, parents can do some simple procedures for the teacher in some schoolactivities, such as in the graduation ceremony they can help children to do themake-up, take care of the children while traveling on field trip, playdifferent roles in the sports day like timekeepers, awards guests. Apart fromthis, parents who participate in school curriculum can expand their ideas aboutwhat their children have learnt in school.
For example, if children learn aboutpublic transportations, parents can bring their children take different typesof transportation and let them know it or read some of the transportation booksto them. When parents are more involved in school activities like observationof teachers’ lesson or storytelling, children vary better in school and havemore positive to head for learning. For instance, if parents rarely care abouttheir children’s academic learning, the children are normally not interested inlearning, as well as neglect their study.
On the basis of Bronfenbrenner’secological systems theory, the mesosystem is most directly affecting theparental involvement. This has included the connections and relationships ofmicrosystem. The microsystem is the most immediately and directly impact thechild’s development including: family, school, religious institutions,neighborhood, and peers.(reference 3) Among that family is the most important relationship of themicrosystem, because children spent most of the time at home with the family.Further, family always provides emotional and physical support, shelter and safetyto the children. For example, parents may their belief or behaviors to theirchildren, on the contrast, children also affects the beliefs or behaviors ofhis or her parents. The mesosystem is interconnections between themicrosystems, interactions between the family and teachers, relationshipbetween the child’s peers and the family.(reference 3) Forinstances, the child’s ability to learn to read is influenced not only by thecompetence of the teacher but also by the quality of the relationship betweenthe school and the home.
There are several benefits for schools, parents andchildren throughout parental involvement. First of all, schools benefit fromthe various ways of parental involvement, teachers have higher job-satisfactionrate and communications get improve between teachers and parents. As much tendto build up better reputations in the community. Next, parents benefit from alarge part of their children’s education, they are more capable to help theirchildren become successful in learning and have better understanding of theteacher’s role and the curriculum. Since the parental involvement in children’seducation, children have higher self-esteem and show eagerness and impulsionfor school.
Also, improved social skills and behavior makes students easy getused of school environment.Parental involvement typically involvesparents’ behaviors at home and in school setting signified to support their children’s learningprogress. Parental involvementat home may include activities such as discussions with their children, assistingwith homework or reading and the involvement in school may be attendingseminars that held by school, volunteer in the classroom, helping with decisionmaking like school activities. Moreover, parental involvement also characterizes parents’values and attitudes regarding education and the aspirations they hold fortheir children.(reference 5) According to Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory, homeand school settings are characterized as microsystems and parental involvementis conceptualized as a mesosystem.
Thus this reflects parents participation theactivities or functions that held by school and interaction with teacher andtheir children are important in educational to the child. Tosum up, parental involvement and home school collaboration in early childhood education is very importancefor the child development, because children will feel safe and protected whileparents are involved in their academic learning, also the relationship betweenchildren and parents are improved when parents are joined the school activatesor functions.