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The Role of Parents in Children's Learning – The 74

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The Ministry of Education recently released national exam results revealing that the pandemic is devastating to student learning. Reading proficiency declined by the largest margin in more than 30 years, with the biggest losses affecting marginalized students. A member of the evaluation’s steering committee concluded, “I don’t think there is a silver bullet other than finding ways to increase class time.” He pointed to a range of solutions for which there was broad consensus, including tutoring, summer schools and extended classes.

This reveals perhaps the biggest and most persistent blind spot in America’s education system. Because involving families in children’s learning is the only broad, cost-effective and culturally sensitive way to increase educational time and accelerate learning recovery.

Research has shown that parental involvement in a child’s learning is a stronger predictor of academic performance than other variables, including race and class. One study found that 80% of public school performance variability is due to family, not teachers. The bottom line: Parents, not school, are the biggest determinants of a child’s learning.

Despite this multi-decade body of research, education policy makers and administrators are largely focused on improving schools, sticking to the 13% of waking time children spend in the classroom. Sure, you can increase school hours slightly by hiring a tutor and extending school days and years, but that’s the most expensive and least sustainable method. An AASA study found that most school districts plan to end or scale back summer learning or additional enhancement programs once recovery funds are exhausted. But unlike teachers and tutors, families are not in short supply, and parents do not expect rewards for reading with their children. the single largest and least exploited natural resource in

Policy makers and administrators have over-invested in interventions in the classroom while dramatically under-investing students’ time outside of school. Ignoring the role parents play in children’s learning leaves the door wide open for inequities to flourish. Over the past decade, the college-educated parent has invested four times as much time and money in her child’s education and future. Case in point: Wealthy parents were able to save their children significantly from the worst effects of the pandemic by providing educational experiences at home and purchasing supplementary services. A vicious circle of inequality in income and economic immobility arises.

This is no coincidence. Systemic racism, wealth inequality, and crumbling social safety nets make parenting in the face of poverty a daunting task. All parents, regardless of income, have an innate desire to raise their children. Low-income parents want a better future for their children. A study by Learning Heroes found that marginalized families said they were more concerned about their children’s learning than their ability to pay the bills during the pandemic. And the biggest unmet need for parents is tutoring to support learning at home. Families are looking for support, and it’s past time for America’s education system to provide it.

For decades, education reformers have clung to the belief that improving schools alone can close the opportunity gap. It won’t work. Despite billions of dollars invested in classroom interventions, the achievement gap has remained unchanged for the past half century. When it comes to educating children, parents cannot be circumvented. Educators must work with and through them to ensure that students learn in the home-school continuum. Otherwise, low-income learners will fall further behind as wealthy families give their children ever greater privileges.

Parents reported spending an average of 2.5 hours a day studying at home while schools were closed. Of course, this is unsustainable. But even parents with just a few minutes of time can help their children learn to read. After analyzing nearly 10 million students, we found that 15 minutes a day is the magic number that greatly improves literacy. Education systems should ask parents to do less, not more, and provide resources and individualized guidance to help families make the most of their efforts. Families deserve to see their children make tangible progress toward their learning goals.

Winston Churchill said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, even after they’ve tried everything else.” Finally, it’s time for the school to try something different. It is a systematic approach to help families and teachers work together for student learning. One proven way to do this is with Family-Educator Learning Accelerators. These are 5- to 10-week cycles during which teachers and parents work together to help children reach their academic growth goals. Small victories lead to big victories, empowering families and educators to achieve a common purpose: children’s success.

As the country’s schools begin the long road to COVID learning recovery, families and educators are working together to support students, rather than reaching for familiar classroom interventions that have so far failed to make a difference. It’s time to rebuild our education system to accelerate the learning of .

In the United States, there is a strong belief that education is the great equalizer. In fact, it can be, but only if policy makers, administrators, and teachers look beyond her four walls of the classroom and support families as key partners in student learning. Limited.

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