Early education is pivotal for children, as it helps them to develop in a host of ways. While most children attend some form of preschool or playgroup run by a teacher, the role of parents in educating children is just as important in fostering skills and experiences for their infants. Indeed, educational familial involvement is defined as the activities that parents or caregivers run for their children in the home during the early childhood phase.
These activities either directly or indirectly complement what their children are being taught in the preschool setting. Moreover, involvement of parents in bringing up children allows for a smooth transition into nursery and primary school.
Connecting home and school environments when educating children
It is beneficial for parents to link the home world and the school world by relating school experiences to those at home. Thus, involvement of parents in early education includes the ability to expand on what has been learnt at playgroup, and to identify strong and weak points in their children’s understanding. This will increase both the ability and confidence of the infant. Parents can also connect these two worlds by taking the time to learn the names of their children’s friends and peers, and to listen to their senses of belonging in the group. For example, do they feel threatened or isolated by any particular peers?
- Positive association when educating children
The consistent presence of parents in early education settings encourages a positive identification between children and their school. Indeed, infants enjoy having their parents step into the educational environment with them, where the former are able to showcase the new skills that they have learnt. In addition, teachers and educational staff members welcome parents’ assistance for the large number of tasks that need to be undertaken during the day. Most importantly, this presence communicates to both the teacher and the child that the parents place a high value on education – and so should their offspring.
If the role of parents in early education is taken seriously, then the progress of their children can be easily tracked from the start. Instead of a parent comparing a child’s development to that of another’s later on in his or her academic career, and being unable to account for this difference, early involvement will supply this information from the start. Parents will be able to identify and value children’s strong points, areas that can be improved and specific interests. This also allows for open communication between parents and teachers regarding issues that may arise.
- Social networks
The presence of parents in early education environments can help to forge social networks between their children and peers in the class. Friendly parents who have a similar age to infants’ own parents become comforting figures in the classroom. They are supply information and security to not only their child but to the latter’s peers. Through association, his relationship between a parent and children in the class then encourages friendships between the children themselves. Thus, parents become friendship enablers for infants who might otherwise be too shy to reach out. Indeed, the role of parents in early education is multifaceted and critical for their children.