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     Parental Involvement and Home School
Collaboration is not uncommon from kindergarten to secondary school around the
world. It is a very important way for parents and teachers peek into children’s
world no matter at home or in school and the connections between the school and
the home.

     Traditional definitions of parental
involvement are limited to school-related activities, such as helping children
with homework, discussing children’s experiences at school, communication with
the school and participation in school-based activities.(reference 1) Based on the National PTA website define “parent
involvement” as the participation of parents in every facet of children’s
education and development from birth to adulthood, recognizing that parents are
the primary influence in children’s lives.(reference
2) Also, the term of “parental involvement” means the participation of
parents in regular, two-way, meaningful communication involving student
academic learning and other school activities.(reference 3) For instance, parents as child’s educator to assist
their children’s learning at home, parents take the initiative to participate
in the activities held by the school like parents day, Christmas party…and so
on . In Hong Kong, many kindergartens invite parents as volunteers to
storytelling, bazaar and some activities like sports day, graduation ceremony
and field trip regularly. It usually takes once in one or two months. This
helps parents to understand children’s learning status in school and a way to
communicate with teachers.

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     The purpose of parental involvement is
strengthening the communication between parents and teachers, assisting the
activities that organized by school or teaching in school, parents participate
in the decision making in school as well, because it establishes parent leaders
and representatives. In the view of parental involvement, teacher’s burden will
be reduced because of the help from parents as volunteer. For example, parents
can do some simple procedures for teachers in some school activities, such as
in the graduation ceremony they can help children to do the makeup, take care
of the children while traveling on field trip, play different roles in the
sports day like timekeepers, awards guests. Apart from this, parents who participate
in school curriculum can expand their ideas about what their children have
learnt in school. For example, if children learn about public transportations,
parents can bring their children to take different types of transportation and
let them know it or read some of the transportation books to them. When parents
are more involved in school activities like observation of teachers’ lesson or
storytelling, children are vary better in school and have more positive to head
for learning. For instance, if parents rarely care about their children’s
academic learning, the children are normally not interested in learning, as
well as neglect their study.

     On the basis of Bronfenbrenner’s
ecological systems theory, the mesosystem is most directly affecting the
parental involvement. This has included the connections and relationships of
microsystem. The microsystem is the most immediately and directly impact the
child’s development including: family, school, religious institutions,
neighborhood, and peers.(reference 3) Among that family is the
most important relationship of the microsystem, because children spent most of
the time at home with the family. Further, family always provides emotional and
physical support, shelter and safety to the children. For example, parents may
their belief or behaviors to their children, on the contrast, children also
affects the beliefs or behaviors of his or her parents. The mesosystem is
interconnections between the
microsystems, interactions between the family and teachers, relationship
between the child’s peers and the family.(reference
3) For instances, the child’s ability to learn to read is influenced not
only by the competence of the teacher but also by the quality of the
relationship between the school and the home. There are several benefits for
schools, parents and children throughout parental involvement. First of all,
schools benefit from the various ways of parental involvement, teachers have
higher job-satisfaction rate and communications get improve between teachers
and parents. As much tend to build up better reputations in the community.
Next, parents benefit from a large part of their children’s education, they are
more capable to help their children become successful in learning and have
better understanding of the teacher’s role and the curriculum. Since the
parental involvement in children’s education, children have higher self-esteem
and show eagerness and impulsion for school. Also, improved social skills and
behavior makes students easy get used of school environment.

     Parental involvement typically involves
parents’ behaviors at home and in school setting signified to support their
children’s learning progress. Parental involvement at home activities may
include discussions with their children, assisting with homework or reading and
the activities in school may be attending seminars that held by school,
volunteer in the classroom like storytelling, as well as helping with decision
making like school activities. Moreover, parental involvement also
characterizes parents’ values and attitudes regarding education and the
aspirations they hold for their children.(reference
5) According to Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory, home and school settings are
characterized as microsystems and parental involvement is conceptualized as a
mesosystem. Thus this reflects parents participation the activities or
functions that held by school and interaction with teacher and their children
are important in
educational to the child. Parents are the significant sources for children and
teachers, because it connected with children positive learning attitude in
children’s life. For example parental involvement is a way to build trust,
respect or two way communication along with teachers and parents. Once and for
all, copartnership between home and school constantly lead to positive living,
and then children develop good values as well such as children’s learning is
important because parents are the first educators except for the teacher. 

     To sum up, parental involvement and home
school collaboration in early childhood education is very importance for the
child development, because children will feel safe and protected while parents
are involved in their academic learning, also the relationship between children
and parents are improved when parents are joined the school activates or
functions.

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