The question of the effect of parental involvement on the reading achievements of students has been a major concern, which has caught the attention of several researchers, both in the United States and the whole world. Several immigrant students have not been meeting the state goals in reading. This incorporated with several other factors has made several social and education scientists and professionals to treat the problem with much attention as to the involvement of their parents in their reading and their concerns on the improvements of their kids.
There are several research studies on parental involvement in their children’s education and its impact on the reading achievements of these children. Nevertheless, according to Sui-Chu & Willms, parental involvement is a multi-dimensional construct. Therefore, the variations in measuring parental involvement in the education of their children make comparing research findings difficult.
Parental involvement and grade four students’ reading achievements (Emirati students in the United Arab Emirates).
Emirati students have to score a minimum of 150 on the Common Educational Proficiency Assessment-English (CEPA-E) as a requirement to receive federally funded education. Reading as one of the English language skills poses a major challenge to most Emirati students (Midraj, Jessica and Sadiq Dec 2011). Research reveals that failure to acquire reading skills at an early age may result in problems with gaining other language skills and acquisition of knowledge.
Parent involvement influence the educational achievements of school going children since parent have higher expectations of their children who work hard to meet the standards their parents set for them. Additionally, parents have to ensure friendly environments at home for the kids to practice their reading skills while at home. However, there are certain factors such as parents educational level, family size, and socioeconomic status of the family that pose challenges to children when they study at home (Midraj, Jessica and Sadiq Dec 2011). If parents engage in reading activities at home with their children, it will help develop their language comprehension, reading achievements, expressive language skills, attitudes towards reading and their attentiveness in classrooms. Parents who also provide their children with literacy materials at home have positive influence on the reading skills of these children. Other parents also organize for extra academic tutoring for their kids, which goes a long way in shaping the children’s reading skills. This usually applies to parent whom English is not their first language and they often hire private tutors (Midraj, Jessica and Sadiq Dec 2011).
Parental influence and involvement
Research shows that motivation helps in the development of reading skills of students. It also helps in determining the achievements and preferences by these students. Most students imitate what their parents do back at home (Bradley 2010). Therefore, students from families where parents like to read are most likely to develop positive attitude towards reading since they imitate what their parents do (Bradley 2010). Due to the recognition of the important roles that the parents’ involvement play in the reading achievements of the students, most governments have put in place educational policies that enhance the relationship between the family and the school in order to ensure consistency in the developments of the students. However, parental involvement may be effective differently to for students due to the diversity of their backgrounds (Bradley 2010).
Parenting practices at home
Research findings suggest that there are connections between the student-reported rules and improvements in reading skills (National Middle School Association 2004). However, parent-reported rules often reduce these achievements among non-minority students. However, more involvement that is parental would increase the students reading achievements though this entirely depends on the parent’s literacy level. If they feed the students with wrong information, it would be difficult to change since children tend to trust their parents than anybody else (National Middle School Association 2004). It should b noted that student self reports are a better way of determining parent involvement than using the parent reports.
Communicating between school and home
This is another form of parental involvement in the students’ education, which determines the achievements of the learners on their reading skills (Niddifer 2012). Parents should keep constant communication between the schools their children attend to and themselves. They should monitor the developments at school and the requirements by the teachers on their children (Dr. Kumar 2012). This helps develop the performance of the students since parents would keep track of the students and ensure they adhere to school requirements, for example completing assignments in time. This form of parent involvement depends on certain factors such as ethnicity, race or income levels of the family. This implies that some parent would feel comfortable communicating to the schools while others might be discouraged by the above factors. The discouraged parent would negatively affect the reading achievements of their children while those whose parents constantly communicate with schools would gain from this initiative.
Learning/reading activities to engage parents and students at home
Parents high expectations for their children
Some research findings have found out that reading achievements by students are motivated by high, but unrealistic expectations for them by their parents and the community. These children strive to conform to these social adjustments by ensuring the attainment of the preset goals by the parents and the community (University of New Hampshire 2008). The students who have greater reading achievements have higher goals set for them by their families while those whose families set for them low goals have little achievements. The setting of these goals also depend certain factors such as education level of the parent and second language factor (University of New Hampshire 2008). Families that have English not being their first language would set standards lower for their children, which implies that these children would have achievements in the region of the preset goals.
A review of recent literature on the effects of parental involvements on the reading achievements of students gave an insight into the differences in reading achievements of these students with several variations in their families and the willingness of their families to assist them develop their reading skills outside the school setting. The articles that discussed this issue generally categorized parental involvement into different levels. They considered poverty, family size, ethnicity and race, and parental perception on involvement among other factors to determine students’ reading achievements (Jeynes 2003).
An analysis of this literature suggests that parents need to improve their networks with schools in order to help their children improve their reading skills. For parents who do not speak English as a first language, it is noted that they might not have proper command of this language and should strive to organize for and supervise extra tuition for these students by qualified personnel in order to help in nurturing these skills.
Ethnicity, racism and poverty have been identified as conditions that are favorable to learning, especially to reading skills. They form barriers between the schools and parents, and between students and their teachers. Whenever these barriers prevail, the students’ learning process becomes disrupted. Better studying environments with minimal disruption should also be created for the students at home while they study. An article also highlights that teachers should give the students homework that incorporate the parent in order to enhance parent-child.
This literature review provided important information about the responsibilities of the learners, their parents and teachers in improving the learners’ achievements on reading skills. It discussed the aspects of ensuring friendly conditions to the learners in order for them to meet the expectations of their parents and their community. This project persuades the readers to understand the conditions that favor students in achieving their goals with regard to reading skills. For example in the United Arab Emirates, there are certain minimum requirements that the students have to attain in order to receive fully funded scholarship. This implies that they do not only work to satisfy their families and themselves, but also the society. Therefore, parents should always help the students develop on their reading skills.
Midraj, Jessica and Sadiq (Dec 2011). Parental Involvement and Grade Four Students' English Reading Achievement. Questia. Retrieved from http://www.questia.com/read/1G1-281374812/parental-involvement-and-grade-four-students-english
Bradley C. F. (2010). The Impact of Parental Involvement on the Reading Achievement of Fourth Grade African. Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-04152010-165804/unrestricted/Bradley_FC_D_2010.pdf
National Middle School Association (2004). Parent Involvement and Student Achievement at the Middle Level. Retrieved from http://www.amle.org/portals/0/pdf/publications/on_target/family_involvement/family_10.pdf
Robert J. (2013). Improving parental involvement and reading achievement of Caribbean immigrant adolescents through differentiated instruction. Udini proquest.retrieved from http://udini.proquest.com/view/improving-parental-involvement-and-goid:763142466/
Dr. Kumar N.S. (2012). Parental Involvement at Home and Students’ Academic Achievement. International Journal of Social Science Tomorrow Vol 1 No. 4. Retrieved from http://www.ijsst.com/issue/545.pdf
Jeynes W. H. (2003). A Meta-Analysis: The Effects of Parental Involvement on Minority Children’s Academic Achievement. Education and Urban Society. Retrieved from http://18.104.22.168/ficheros/f20e386283252639a04654d8eb79e45f.pdf
Niddifer F. (2012). Building Communication Between Home and School. Mooreland Heights Elementary School Magazine. Retrieved from http://moorelandheightses.knoxschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=50739&SID