Correlating reading and success

In a previous post, we talked about how research by Professor Barry Zuckerman of the Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics showed that reading to young children had consequential benefits to their success later in life. Children who have read with their loved ones become conditioned to associate this love with books as well. Aside from nurturing these relationships, reading develops and stimulates their natural inquisitiveness and childlike wonder. Reading develops skills that will always be useful to kids, even as they grow older: focus, attention to detail, communication skills, social development, and rich vocabularies. Reading also teaches emotional intelligence, giving children insight to a world that is so much bigger than what they already know––which they will first get a taste of in school.

The presence of parenting

While reading is important, there are many other ways parents can have a major impact on their children’s future success. The very presence of their parents in their day-to-day lives shows engagement and support in all endeavors. When children feel secure about this, they will find greater comfort in knowing that they have someone looking out for them. When communication lines between parents and teachers are opened, there is a greater sense of transparency in that both parties can work together to fulfill a child’s needs and meet the same goals. Together, they can work on specific strategies that are more effective in making sure the student lives up to his or her potential. Dr. Mark Lombardi, president of Maryville University believes that “Student success isn’t just the best measure of a highly successful education. It’s the only measure that matters.” Various factors equate to this success. Research from the National Education Association (NEA) proves this to be true, as a parent, family, and community involvement in a child’s education correlates to higher performance in academics and more active involvement in school, no matter the level.

Becoming active participants

Contrary to the belief that parents’ involvement should be merely confined to preschool and elementary levels, it is actually just as important in higher levels and should be maintained. This dynamic also addresses behavioral issues and better conduct, as well as monitors the school dropout crisis. We understand that not all minority and low-income parents may be able to afford to devote the same level of time and attention to their children. The same strategies can be adopted by other family members, guardians, or parent-like figures as well. If just enough training and encouragement is given to them, in the form of Parent Education Programs and Centers, then their involvement may be boosted. Schools should likewise work on ensuring that these are set in place so that parents can frequently consult them for help and information.

Outside the classroom

Genuine interest and involvement of parents in their children’s education is of great importance because learning is not solely confined within the walls of a classroom. Learning happens in the in-between classes and after-school hours as well. It is imperative for students to know that they can consult other resources to give them adequate supplementary knowledge, and this may not always be in the form of homework. Parents can continue to raise their children well by assigning their responsibilities to help out with household chores or other tasks to help build their character. Participation in these activities also prepares them for responsibilities they will tackle later on in life. They may even show the same support and motivation with their children’s extracurricular activities.

Ongoing support system

It is of equal importance that parents are their children’s cheerleaders as well. When students feel discouraged or fail constantly, they may develop a sense of Learned Helplessness which can lead to grave consequences. By lifting their morale through encouragement, whether in success or failure, students will feel that they have the capability to take control over their performance. In partnering with teachers, they may together find the solutions tailor-fit to the child’s particular needs. Building this self-confidence is part and parcel in their success.

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Written by: JBaugh