You have the biggest impact on your child's school achievement
Do you think the quality of a school makes the greatest differences in a student's overall academic success? Think again! Studies show that parent involvement has the biggest impact on kids' achievement.
Researchers compared "family social capital" and "school social capital." They defined family social capital as:
- The degree of trust between parent and child.
- The amount of communication at home.
- The level of parent involvement in education.
Researchers defined school social capital as:
- The availability of extracurricular activities.
- Teacher morale.
- The willingness and ability of staff to meet students' needs.
- The presence of a positive learning environment.
It turns out that kids with high levels of family social capital but low levels of school social capital do better than kids with more perks at school but less parental input at home.
To remain actively involved in your child's schooling:
- Connect with his teachers. Attend parent teacher conferences. Read every handout that comes home. Regularly visit the school's website to see what's new.
- Take an interest in what he's learning. Every night, ask you child about what he did in school that day. And don't settle for a reply of "Nothing."
- Encourage him to aim high. "You're doing great in math! How about taking honors next year?"
Source: M.J. Dufur and others, "Does Capital at Home Matter More than Capital at School? Social Capital Effects on Academic Achievement," Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Elsevier Ltd., niswc.com/mid_impact.