Helping parents to gain the skills and knowledge to successfully engage in their child’s learning will make a big difference to their child’s long term educational outcomes and employment prospects, says leading children’s education charity The Smith Family.
During this year’s National Literacy and Numeracy Week, The Smith Family is highlighting the need for more initiatives to help parents actively engage in their children’s education, particularly those in poorer households where education can lead a child out of disadvantage.
South Australian General Manager, Graham Jaeschke, said the home learning environment was a bigger factor in a child’s educational attainment than a family’s financial status.
“Students with parents who are engaged in their learning and development, no matter what their income or background, are more likely to do well at school and take up higher education,” Mr Jaeschke said.
“However there are thousands of Australian parents who are unsure how to engage with their children in literacy and numeracy activities.
“This can be the case for parents who have had negative experiences at school, or have low levels of literacy and numeracy. It doesn’t mean they don’t have aspirations for their children’s success.
“Results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 show parents can nurture students’ engagement with and at school by holding high expectations for their children and by being more engaged in their children’s lives.”
Mr Jaeschke said parental engagement across a child’s life was fundamental to a child’s educational success.
“This is even more important for children in financially disadvantaged families whose educational attainment can be the enabler for them to break out of disadvantage,” Mr Jaeschke said.
The Smith Family works closely with the families of students it supports and encourages parents and carers to be actively involved with their child’s education.
It offers a range of programs that promote parental engagement, including:
Learning for Life: Engages parents in a long term focus on their children’s attendance at school
Let’s Read and Let’s Count: Helps strengthen parents’ skills and confidence to support the learning of pre-school aged children.
School Community Hubs: Helps build the capacity of schools and communities to support parents to become more involved at school.
Tech Packs: Provides families with digital support, including equipment and training.
Financial Literacy programs: Help parents make more informed decisions about the management of their finances.
For more information visit www.thesmithfamily.com.au.