There is no end to the research and statistics that tell us that if we are involved with our children, they will have increased success at school and in life.
The Michigan Department of Education cites much of what research says about parent involvement in children’s education. The Parent Teacher Association notes decades of research show it results in higher grades, test scores and graduation rates. Other referenced studies indicate family participation in education is twice as predictive of students’ academic success as socioeconomic status
The real questions for each of us are not whether we should be involved, but how and, with limited time, what matters most.
As a working mom who who feels educational success is really important to my kids, I’ve tried over two decades to find ways to make a positive impact on each of our four kids’ lives. I’ve discovered there’s no single recipe, but there are consistent ingredients:
There is no substitute or shortcut for this. Time matters and conversation matters, whether long or short. Ask open ended questions and then listen. Listen hard. Discuss things that matter as well as things that are just fun. Don't lecture. Be respectful of their opinions whether your child is 6 or 16. The better you are at that, the more you'll hear.
Talk in the car, over dinner, or while you wait for the bathroom. If we want our kids to talk with us when they are adults, we must get them in the habit while they are young. If they communicate with us, their skill at communicating with other adults (read: teachers and bosses) will improve and they will be better at seeking assistance and asking questions.