Parental Involvement and Home School
Collaboration is not uncommon from kindergarten to secondary school around the
world. 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 the
home.

Traditional
definitions of parental involvement are limited to school-related activities,
such as helping children with homework, discussing children’s experiences at
school, communication with the school and participation in school-based
activities.(reference
1) Based on
the National PTA website define “parent involvement” as the participation of
parents in every facet of children’s education and development from birth to
adulthood, recognizing that parents are the primary influence in children’s
lives.(reference 2) Also, the term of “parental involvement” means the participation
of parents in regular, two-way, meaningful communication involving student
academic learning and other school activities.(reference 3) For instance, parent as child’s educator to assist their children’s
learning at home; parents take the initiative to participate in the activities
held by the school. In Hong Kong, many kindergartens invite parents as
volunteers to storytelling, bazaar and some activities like sports day,
graduation ceremony and field trip regularly. It usually takes once in one or
two months. This helps parents to understand children’s learning status in
school.

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The purpose of parental involvement
strengthening the communication between parents and teachers, assisting the
activities that organized by school or teaching in school, parents participate
in the decision making as well in school. In the view
of parental involvement, teacher’s
burden will be reduced because of the help from parents as volunteer. For
example, parents can do some simple procedures for the teacher in some school
activities, such as in the graduation ceremony they can help children to do the
make-up, take care of the children while traveling on field trip, play
different roles in the sports day like timekeepers, awards guests. Apart from
this, parents who participate in school curriculum can expand their ideas about
what their children have learnt in school. For example, if children learn about
public transportations, parents can bring their children take different types
of transportation and let them know it or read some of the transportation books
to them. When parents are more involved in school activities like observation
of teachers’ lesson or storytelling, children vary better in school and have
more positive to head for learning. For instance, if parents rarely care about
their children’s academic learning, the children are normally not interested in
learning, as well as neglect their study.

On the basis of Bronfenbrenner’s
ecological systems theory, the mesosystem is most directly affecting the
parental involvement. This has included the connections and relationships of
microsystem. The microsystem is the most immediately and directly impact the
child’s development including: family, school, religious institutions,
neighborhood, and peers.(reference 3) Among that family is the most important relationship of the
microsystem, because children spent most of the time at home with the family.
Further, family always provides emotional and physical support, shelter and safety
to the children. For example, parents may their belief or behaviors to their
children, on the contrast, children also affects the beliefs or behaviors of
his or her parents. The mesosystem is interconnections between the
microsystems, interactions between the family and teachers, relationship
between the child’s peers and the family.(reference 3) For
instances, the child’s ability to learn to read is influenced not only by the
competence of the teacher but also by the quality of the relationship between
the school and the home. There are several benefits for schools, parents and
children throughout parental involvement. First of all, schools benefit from
the various ways of parental involvement, teachers have higher job-satisfaction
rate and communications get improve between teachers and parents. As much tend
to build up better reputations in the community. Next, parents benefit from a
large part of their children’s education, they are more capable to help their
children become successful in learning and have better understanding of the
teacher’s role and the curriculum. Since the parental involvement in children’s
education, children have higher self-esteem and show eagerness and impulsion
for school. Also, improved social skills and behavior makes students easy get
used of school environment.

Parental involvement typically involves
parents’ behaviors at home and in school setting signified to support their children’s learning
progress. Parental involvement
at home may include activities such as discussions with their children, assisting
with homework or reading and the involvement in school may be attending
seminars that held by school, volunteer in the classroom, helping with decision
making like school activities. Moreover, parental involvement also characterizes parents’
values and attitudes regarding education and the aspirations they hold for
their children.(reference 5) According to Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory, home
and school settings are characterized as microsystems and parental involvement
is conceptualized as a mesosystem. Thus this reflects parents participation the
activities or functions that held by school and interaction with teacher and
their children are important in educational to the child.

          To
sum up, parental involvement and home school collaboration in early childhood education is very importance
for the child development, because children will feel safe and protected while
parents are involved in their academic learning, also the relationship between
children and parents are improved when parents are joined the school activates
or functions.

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