PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN
Background of the study
When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more. Parental involvement over the past decade, indicates that regardless of family income or background, “students with involved parents are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores, enroll in higher-level programs, be promoted, pass their classes, earn credits, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, adapt well to school and graduate to postsecondary education” (Henderson & Map, 2002: 67).
Parental participation in pre-school activities includes a wide range of behaviors but generally refers to parents’ and family members’ use and investment of resources in their children’s schooling. These investments can take place in or outside of school, with the intention of improving children’s learning. Parental involvement at home can include activities such as discussions about school, helping with homework, and reading with children. Involvement at school may include parents volunteering in the classroom, attending workshops, or attending school plays and sporting events (Rain and William, 2011).
A parent is the child’s first and most important teacher in life and he or she is expected to play an active role in the child’s preschool journey because it is believed a parent and child should grow together and have a rewarding preschool experience. This follows subsequently by school life where academic performance is expected to be high. The parent is supposed to be supportive to the child in all aspects which include socially, physically, mentally and also emotionally (Epstein, 2001). Studies have indicated that children whose parents and/or other significant adults share in their formal education tend to do better in school. Some benefits that have been identified that measure parental involvement in education include; higher grades and test scores, long term academic achievement, positive attitudes and behaviors and more successful programs (Epstein, 2001).
Statement of the problem
Parents of preschool children are often faced with unique challenges that hinder them from meeting the learners’ needs. They include; insufficient time, career or job type, level of education, order of priority, set home environment, opinion to voluntary work at school, time taken to respond to school activities for example buying instruction materials, attending parents meetings, conferences, sports ,academic clinic day, disciplinary cases and also discussing the academic progress of the child. If the above needs are not attended to, there is a likelihood of child not performing well because he or she is not adequately supported.
Insufficient parental involvement may lead to poor performance of the child academically Parents from private primary schools have been found to be more involved than parents from public primary schools in areas such as attending academic clinic day, parents meetings, paying motivation fees, buying reading materials and buying television, radios, computer for computer games while in public primary schools this is taken as extra expenses.
The parents from public schools tend to be reluctant and therefore, the preschool children are not exposed to varied earning opportunities. This affects their acquisition of learning skills such as numeracy and literacy skills as compared to children from private preschools. Underachievement at school or failure to reach a satisfactory level of literacy and numeracy is a national problem and its caused by various factors such as poor parental involvement as reported by ministry of education in Ekiti state on learners’ achievement. Reading, counting, grouping, pairing, sorting, comparing, matching, writing, designing, speaking and listening are among the skills inadequately acquired at early childhood education level. This is a common problem found. A difference in performance has also been noted in public schools compared to private schools.
Indeed, education is the most viable industry of the people of Ekiti state, There are 541 public primary schools and 14 registered private primary schools. Also the state has 141 public secondary schools and 18 registered private schools while there are (4) four technical secondary school in the state. hence the people are in the fore front of educational development educational system in Ekiti is facing a lot of problem today in Ekiti state and in Nigeria as a whole because of inefficient use of the resources devoted to the system by schools administrator and other stakeholder because of the acute scarcity of resources in individual homes, it has been difficult for students to pay the little levies, buy books be neatly clothed and bring needed materials to the school. The government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of providing all needed materials for the schools. Yusuf (2014)
Academic performance in Ikere Ekiti local government area of Ekiti state is remained very low for a very long time as compared to other educational system in Ekiti state. The study therefore sought to establish the influence of parental involvement in the academic performance of preschool children in the local government area.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to investigate parental involvement and academic performance of preschool children in Ikere Local Government area of Ekiti state
The research study addressed the following specific objectives:
- i) To find out whether home environment has an influence on academic performance of preschool learners.
- ii) To establish whether the parent-school communication has an influence on academic performance of preschool learners.
iii) To investigate whether parents’ participation in educational activities at home has an influence on academic performance of pre-school learners.
- iv) To find out whether parents’ participation in educational activities at school has an influence on academic performance of pre-school learners.
The study addressed the following research questions:
- What are the levels of parents’ participation in their children educational activities at home?
- To what extent parents are involved in school –parent communication?
- What is the parents perception of the role of parents involvement and child academic performance?
Significance of the study
The findings of this study will assist in improving parental involvement in academic performance of pre-school children. The findings could also be useful in managing education of the learners and to identify the types of parental involvement such as parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making and collaborating with the community that impact on improvement of preschool children acquisition of academic performance. The study will also provide intellectual inputs for future researchers in search for knowledge on parental involvement on academic performances. This will form a foundation for further studies too. The findings can be helpful to teachers and the parents in developing programs to upgrade their skills, knowledge, positive altitude and competencies of handling children.
Scope of the study
The study focused on the parental involvement on academic performance of preschool children in Ikere Local Government area. The study dealt with home environment, parent –school communication, parental activities at home and school.
Definition of terms
Academic performance –The outcome of education, the extent to which a student, institution has achieved their educational goal
Child – A young human being who is not yet an adult i.e. under 18 year.
Parental involvement – Refers to participation of parents in every facet of children’s education and development from birth to adulthood, recognizing, parents are the primary influence in children’s lives.
Preschool education – Provision of learning of children before the commencement of statutory and obligatory education. Usually between the age of zero and five depending on the jurisdiction.
Parental volunteering – Refers to parental attendance in a variety of school events ranging in scope from class room activities to school wide event.
Parental participation – Refers to the level of involvement that a parent has in their child’s education and school.
Home environment – Refers to space and its surrounding where the preschool child lives with the parent or guardian for example at home.
Parent -school communication – refers to passing of information from either from parent to the teacher or teacher to the parent.
Educational Activities at home – Refers to all activities supporting education at home.
Educational activities at school – Refers to all activities supporting education at school.
Development – A specified state of growth or advancement.
Frequency – The fact of being frequent or happening often
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