Parental Involvement in Elementary School

The NEA or National Education Association recently published an article about Parental Involvement. It gives both sides of the argument about the positives and negatives that involvement by parents in their child’s classroom and social life can negatively affective their child’s outcome.

The article is located at http://www.nea.org/teachexperience/bi021003.html.

The positives of parental involvement are:

* Reading aloud to children,

* Teaching good study habits,

* Talking about school,

* And Getting the child involved in family decisions.

The negative points of over involvement by parents are:

* The over zealous parent at their child’s sport games,

* Children acting in the same way as their parent because of reflection,

* Parents driving their child’s teacher crazy with harping on the high grade / score over
testing.

Regardless of the path of the type of involvement parents choose, the main concern should be to not overstress the child.

Teachers find themselves constantly asking for parents to get involved or the total opposite; the parents are way too involved. There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium. With many families with two working parents or a single working parent, parental involvement can be tough for the parents involved. Some feel when they can’t be there all the time, then what point is there to help out only part of the time. The other parents who do have the time are over involved.

A suggestion to teachers to try and get all parents involved equally is make this fact known from the beginning of the school year. Within this letter, also state the boundaries you have when it comes to parental involvement. For example, the last thing a teacher needs after all day of teaching is to counsel an overly involved parent each time a test grade lower than a “B” is achieved by their Johnny.


Parental involvement is great for both the child and parent, but know your boundaries when it comes to being involved in the classroom activities.

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