Should parents be involved in student academic life? Yes, of course!

Charlie and Kathleen Ledgerwood, Adviser

Studies show that parental/guardian involvement helps not only with academic achievement, but also with student mental health in secondary school. This means that even though high school students might not want to talk about school with their parents, that parents should make an extra effort to discuss school and education with their kids.
As a teacher it’s nice to be able to contact parents and communicate with them about what their child needs to work on or what work they might be missing. This conversation is enhanced when the students have already communicated with their parents or guardians about their work at school and what assignments they are working on.
Studies show that parents can do simple things like talk to their kids about what they’re learning, what they’re studying, or what they are struggling with. Even that emotional support can vastly improve student chances of success and improve the mental health of the student.
In high school it is important for parents to let students struggle some and learn to advocate for help when they need it, as this is an essential life skill. Parents can teach these skills by coaching their students at home, modeling by helping students ask for assistance at conferences, via email, or in phone calls, and by encouraging students to get help from their teachers, in academic labs, and from their counselors.
Communication about school progress between parent(s) and students should be a constant and ongoing conversation. And all teachers want is to see students grow and flourish. The best way to achieve that is to have education be a community effort. Adults should talk to kids about school and stress the importance of doing well in public school where educational resources are free.