Posted on 14th October 2012
According to a study carried out by researchers at a university in North Carolina having supportive parents is more likely to help students get better marks than attending a good school.
Of course how you raise your children and the role you take in their lives is going to have an enormous impact, but I was amazed to read that parents who help with homework can compensate for bad teaching in schools, even though children spend most of their time in class.
Dr. Toby Parcel, one of the authors of the study told the BBC that parents “should invest time in their children, checking homework, attending school events and letting kids know school is important. That’s where the payoff is.”
Of the 10,000 teenagers involved in the study, those at weaker schools but with supportive parents did better academically than those at stronger schools but with less involved parents.
“In other words, while both school and family involvement are important, the role of family involvement is stronger when it comes to academic success” said Parcel.
Although where is the line between ‘supportive’ and ‘overbearing’? Certainly parents should help their children with schoolwork and be aware of what they are doing in class and need to do for homework and coursework. However, it is also really important that children learn to study independently and take responsibility for their own academic life. Personally I believe that students need to find motivation from within in order to succeed, and not to rely on being constantly pushed and guided by their parents.
Finding the right balance, as with everything, is always hard, but not impossible. Make sure you find ways to help your children and give them room to work independently. Reading to young children, discussing current affairs with older ones, visiting places of historical and cultural significance, talking about the subjects they are studying at school and encouraging them to work hard will all help.