Parent involvement in kids' education has far-reaching benefits. Here are the effects that researchers have found most consistently.
Involvement Fosters Academic Achievement
Countless studies have found that kids perform better in school when their parents are involved with their schoolwork. Compared to students whose parents are uninvolved, kids with involved parents get better grades and are thought more highly of by teachers. These effects remain in the future, even if parents become less involved as the child ages. Parent involvement in school-based activities seems to have the greatest effect on kids' grades, but home-based parent involvement also plays at least some role. Involved parents enhance school performance in a number of ways, including by fostering a mastery orientation toward learning and encouraging self-discipline, a skill that's critical to school success.
Kids whose parents are involved with their schoolwork attend school more regularly than kids whose parents are uninvolved. This probably occurs for a number of reasons. For one, parents who are involved typically value school highly and encourage consistent attendance. Secondly, kids who get help from parents tend to feel more academically competent, so they are less likely to want to avoid going to school. Finally, parent involvement improves kids' attitudes about school, making school attendance more desirable.
Kids With Involved Parents Have Better Behavior
Behavior issues often begin to appear during the tween years, especially as kids' cognitive development leads them toward risk taking. Thankfully, parental attention can help to head off many of these behavior issues. For instance, children with involved parents have lower rates of substance use and delinquent acts compared to kids whose parents are uninvolved. In addition, kids behave better and less aggressively in the classroom when their parents are involved with their education.
Parent Involvement Improves Social Functioning
Parent involvement in education also aids kids' social functioning. In particular, kids with involved parents have better peer interactions than kids with uninvolved parents. Their social skills also seem to be more advanced. Notably, advanced social skills in turn to lead to better academic outcomes.
Mental Health Is Better With Parent Involvement
Finally, kids with involved parents have better mental health than children whose parents do not get involved with their education. For one, parent involvement in education fosters kids' self-esteem. Children with involved parents also have enhanced skills for regulating emotions and feel negative emotions less often. All in all, when parents choose to become involved with their kids schoolwork, kids benefit not only in the classroom, but far beyond it.
Hornby, Garry, and Lafaele, Rayleen. Barriers to parental involvement in education: An explanatory model. Educational Review. 2010. 63, 1: 37-52.
Pomerantz, Eva, and Moorman, Elizabeth. The how, whom, and why of parental involvement in children's academic lives: More is not always better. Review of Educational Research. 2007. 77,3: 373-410.