Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Parents' Role in the Education of Their Children

Have you ever wondered why the education system in America is so widespread? Why some schools have all sorts of extra-curricular programs while others can't even allow their students to have a copy of the class textbook for their own use during the school year? There are good and bad schools in all socioeconomic settings, I realize, but I firmly believe that the education level of the parents, and the income level, play a big role in the quality of education that the children receive.

It seems that the more education the parents have, which often contributes to how large their income is, the better the schools are in that area. Take a college town, for example, where many of the parents are professors and work for the university. Often, the schools in the neighborhoods where these parents live are some of the better schools in the city and sometimes even state.

Parents with higher education are more apt to realize the value of education and place a high emphasize on it than parents whose education doesn't exceed high school or even less. I don't know that the less education a parent has necessarily means they don't value a sound elementary, junior high and high school education for their children. I think many of these parents are overworked and tired and have very little energy to contribute to trying to better the schools their children attend.

However, the biggest contribution a parent can make, besides becoming active in their child's school, is probably to support their students from home. They can look over homework, make sure the child is behaving in school and support the school's discipline plan, get their children to school on time and make sure they don't miss very many days. They can talk about what their kids are learning and use local public libraries to possibly support interests the children have--like checking out extra books about space when that child is learning a space unit and fascinated by it. Even if they feel they don't have a high enough education to help with homework, say a high school student's trigonometry assignment, they can still encourage and support by making sure the homework gets done and talking to teachers on behalf of their student if that student is struggling.

Parents can determine how good the education of their child is simply by being supportive and doing as much as they can, whether it be joining the PTA and becoming president or just checking that homework was done and put in the backpack to turn in.

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