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Should parents help with children's work?

Many parents want to be involved in helping their children with their schoolwork and homework, because they feel sure that it is important. But is it?

What evidence is there that parents helping children with their school and homework has a positive impact or is it a mistake to get involved and should we leave it to the teachers? After all they are the professionals.

At EBS we have been looking in to this for a number of years and trying to gather the evidence.

From what we have seen, working with your children and discussing their school and homework is important for their success.

Research into the impact of parental involvement on pupil achievement and adjustment by DfES identified that:
  • Parental involvement in the form of ‘at-home’ interest and support is a major force in shaping pupils’ educational outcomes.
  • The most significant factor was ‘home discussion’. The more parents and children talk with each other in the home, the more the pupils achieved in school
  • In the primary age range the impact caused by different levels of parental involvement is much bigger than differences associated with variations in the quality of schools.
  • There is some indication that parental involvement activities and effects diminish as the child gets older but even for school leavers the effects are strong but less so on achievement and more so on staying on rates and pupils’ educational ambitions
  • Differences between parents in their level of involvement is associated with parental perception of their role and their levels of confidence in fulfilling it. Some parents are put off by feeling put down by schools and teachers

So the answer is a clear "Yes" - it is well worth parents getting involved with their children's school and homework, especially when they are young and it can have a far bigger impact on children's achievements as they go through school than the quality of the school they go to.

With EBS of course you can always call the Freephone Teacher Line yourselves, as well as the children, so that you can make sure you understand what the children are doing and can take an active interest, confident that you will understand it and be able to discuss it with them.
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