Learning

The Importance of Getting Families Involved with Early Learning

While pre-school and other early education programs are key for child development, the role parents play in their child's early education is extremely significant as well.

As a parent, you may think that once you’ve taught your tot how to say “mama” and stack blocks, it’s time to turn the educating over to the professionals. And while pre-school and other early education programs are key for child development, the role parents play in their child’s early education is extremely significant as well.

The importance of early childhood education and its impact on the students’ life is supported by extensive developmental science research. Oxford researchers found that children whose parents participated in programs geared towards early education involvement progressed significantly greater in their learning than children whose parents did not participate.

Why Parent Involvement Matters

Since pre-school plays an integral role in children’s cognitive and social development, when parents take an active role in the early childhood education process, they help ensure their child has the proper support they need to help them develop to their full potential. But the benefits of parent involvement don’t stop there— it also helps extend teaching outside of the classroom, foster a more positive educational experience for children, and helps them perform better when they are in school.

It’s vital that parents support the learning their kids are doing in pre-school and at home. Parents who are dialed in to what’s happening in their child’s pre-school classrooms and facilities are better equipped to establish a strong connection between what their little ones are learning at school and what takes place in the home. For example, a dad that knows his son’s pre-school is learning numbers may have his tot count their steps or count sheep before bedtime to reinforce what they’re learning in the classroom. This connection is a vital part of a child’s development while also supporting further learning. 

When parents are familiar with their child’s routine and activities at school, they can continue them at home, strengthening their brain development. 

Benefits of Parent Involvement 

The benefits to parent involvement in the early childhood education process are virtually endless, but some of the most significant ones include:

  • Improved literacy and math skills. Studies show that family involvement leads to improved literacy and math skills. A few separate studies even show positive relations between parent involvement and improved social-emotional skills.
  • When their parents are involved in the classroom, preschoolers are more likely to behave better and school and home and develop excellent social skills.
  • When parents know what’s going on in their preschooler’s classrooms, they are more likely to reinforce the lessons at home, which helps them grasp concepts faster than parents who do not.
  • When parents are involved, it signifies to kids that it’s important. For your child to begin school on the right foot, they must understand the importance of school. When they see mom and/or dad playing an active role in their pre-school, they will know school is a priority. This is something that will stick with them for the rest of their education days. 

How Parents Can Get Involved

If you’re a parent looking to get involved in your child’s early education learning experience, here are some ideas:

  • Volunteer as a reader or helper in the classroom. If you’ve got the time for it, there’s no better way to be involved in your child’s early learning than to be there in person. 
  • If you have a full-time job or can’t make that big of a commitment, try making as many classroom events as you can, even if it’s just dropping off treats for your kid’s birthday. The more you can get inside the classroom, the better the learning outcome your child will have.
  • Get to know some of the other parents in your child’s classroom and start a parent network. You can organize fun events for the kids like lunch drop-offs and career days so that you can be immersed in your child’s education while also having the camaraderie of fellow parents. When your social network extends to other parents in your child’s class, you will find yourself having conversations at dinner parties and happy hours about what the kids are learning. Use this as a time to ask the other parents how they reinforce the lessons at home and feel free to steal their ideas!
  • Get connected with your child’s teacher. It’s important to build a strong parent-teacher relationship so you can stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the classroom and handle any issues as they arise. If the teacher uses social media, follow them to stay in the loop and respond to any communications from the teacher in a prompt manner. 

Early education sets the foundation for the rest of your child’s educational career — so it’s important to get off on the right foot. There’s no better way to ensure that educations become and remains a priority in your household than by ensuring the parents get involved.

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