Helping your child with his or her schoolwork

By Ify Obidi

Being a passionate educator, the educational performance of children is paramount to me. Hence whatsoever is required to boost students’ performance is worth considering. Parents are the first continuing educators of their children. Research shows that parents’ involvement in their children’s education leads to improved learning outcomes.

The quality, standards and training of teachers in a school will determine, to a large extent, the level of parents’ engagement. For their engagement to be actualized, there must be a tripartite relationship among the school, family and community. The amazing synergy among these three major players will increase parental awareness of the benefits of engaging in their children’s education and provide them with the skills to do so.

A research was carried out by the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth for the Family. This showed that parental engagement (of various kinds) has a positive impact on many indicators of student achievement, which includes higher grades and test scores, enrolment in higher level programmes and advanced classes, lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates, a greater likelihood of commencing tertiary education.

Beyond educational achievements, parental engagement is associated with various indicators of student development. These include: better social skill, improved behaviour, better adaptation to school, increased social capital, a greater sense of personal competence and efficacy for learning, greater engagement in school work, a stronger belief in the importance of education.

Growing up with a highly intellectual father, gave me a lot of leverages. My father was an advocate of sound child education. He strongly believed that every child should be educated. He was fully committed to his children’s education. He didn’t leave the responsibility to class teachers or lesson teachers.

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He would read my books with me and give detailed explanation. I remember when I was in junior secondary school, my father was explaining to me, what demand and supply meant. As he held my book, I watched him break down ambiguous terms with so much passion to see me understand what he was trying to pass across.

It was magical, to me; my dad was the best economics teacher that ever lived. Now, why did his teaching have so much impact on me? Two reasons to note; the first is the bond that existed between me and my father. This bond put me in the right frame of mind and prepared me psychologically to listen to what he had to say. I was so ecstatic, my dad was teaching me.  This parental role in child education made me long for more coaching sessions with him. Did his teaching boost my perfomance in school? Yes, it sure did. I never forgot the demand and supply theory.

The second reason was he was fully aware of his role in my education and he made sure he actively played his role. I remember when I was much younger, my siblings and I will play non-stop when our parents were not around. But at the sound of my father’s car horn, we would all scamper in directions, taking hold of the nearest book to read. I in particular, will read my multiplication timetable as he could throw any question at me at random. I can’t imagine how my educational performance would have been without my dad. I owe my sound academic background to my dad as he was a worthy instrument in God’s hands.

So the question foremost in mind is, how can parents be involved in the education of their children?  By assisting them with assignments, attending PTA meetings and contributing to· matters concerning their children’s education; participating in parents activities organized by· the school; reading with their children and explaining· identified areas of difficulties; assisting them with school projects; having a close relationship with the teachers of· their children in order to stay abreast of their children’s academic performance and activity.

In a nutshell, the impact of parental involvement in child education is far reaching and of great positive consequence on the educational performance of children.

Obidi is the Founder, Tech-Savvy Teacher Facebook and Community Lead Facilitator, Tech-Savvy Teacher Academy