Kids do well when parents are involved

Kids do well when parents are involved
The new school term starts soon. Parents wanting their children to do well may start by being involved in the children’s education, as studies show that this helps the youngsters’ performance.

Decades of research overseas and locally have shown that the more parents are involved in their children's education, the better their children perform in school.

Children with more involved parents enjoy school more and have better school attendance. They are also more emotionally and socially well-adjusted and better able to handle stress.

A National Institute of Education (NIE) study of 150 high-income couples published in 2001 found that it is not money but active engagement in their children's education that made a difference in how well their children performed in school.

NIE lecturer Lana Khong Yiu Lan found that children of parents who do not leave everything to tutors, or who give up their jobs for their offspring's sake, often do well in examinations.

Such parents are often seen in or around school, trying to keep themselves informed about the latest developments in education from the principal and other parents.

The study focused on high-income families to see how well-educated parents in the top 20 per cent of earners allocate resources and time to their children's education.

The aim was to find out whether the way they help their children could be applied to the less well-off.

It concluded that the most important ingredients for good school performance are family involvement, sacrifice and awareness of educational matters, and that the less well-off who put in the same effort should not feel deprived in any way.

Parents can use community libraries and subsidised tuition programmes run by community self-help groups to give their children that extra edge.

Much research has also been done on the importance of the role of fathers.

Again, research has shown that children with involved fathers are better academic achievers. They are more likely to get As, and have better numeracy and verbal skills.

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