Statistics Support Importance of Active Fathers in Academic Success
Parent involvement in their child’s education has long been attributed to positive effects in the classroom. Most often, mothers play the largest role in a child’s education, but children need support from both parents to reach their academic potential. In fact, according to A Call to Commitment: Father’s Involvement in Children’s Learning, published by the U.S. Department of Education, a father’s involvement in their child’s education leads to more learning, better performance in school and healthier behavior. Additionally, students whose father plays an active role in their education typically enjoy school more, have more positive peer relationships and become more responsible adults. Nevertheless, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, one-third of American children (about 24 million) live in a home without their biological father.
Helping Children Achieve Academic and Social Development Goals
A father’s involvement in a child’s academics relays the importance of education and school. The National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) has collected statistics from many reputable sources that support the need for father involvement in educational development.
- A father’s involvement in schools is associated with a higher likelihood of a student earning mostly A’s in his or her core subjects.
- Students living in father-absent homes are twice as likely to repeat a grade.
- Students in single-parent families or stepfamilies are significantly less likely to have parents involved in their schools.
- Thirty-three percent of children living in single-parent homes lag in health, social, emotional, and cognitive outcomes.
Engaged fathers also benefit from this academic role. Research shows active fathers have more self-confidence about their role as a parent, find parenting more satisfying and generally feel of more value to their children.
Although data validates a father’s importance in playing an active role in a child’s educational development, many barriers prevent fathers from participating in the classroom. Teachers.Net identified common reasons fathers do not get involved with their child’s education, including:
- Fathers may believe that a child’s education is a mother’s responsibility.
- Schools communicate primarily with mothers about academic progress, behavioral issues and involvement needs.
- Mothers tend to have sole custody of children after a divorce or separation, limiting daily father involvement.
- Fathers may have an overwhelming work schedule.
- Fathers may not recognize the importance of being involved in their child’s educational development.
- Fathers may lack awareness or understanding of how to help with educational development
Finding Ways to Play an Active Role in Your Child’s Education
Fathers can get involved in their child’s education by playing an active role in the classroom and taking on a supportive role in academic endeavors. If you want to play a bigger role in your child’s education, consider these tips:
- Join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA will help you get to know the school’s leadership staff,including principals and teachers at all grade levels. You will also meet fellow parents and learn ways you can support your child’s class and school.
- Volunteer to chaperone or supervise the next field trip or school event. You will get to know your child’s teachers and classmates and see your child’s educational environment.
- Take time to meet one-on-one with teachers. Parent-teacher conferences provide an excellent way to meet your child’s teachers and receive an accurate account of your child’s academic progress, social development and any behavioral issues in the classroom.
- Drive your child to school. The morning drive gives excellent one-on-one time with your child as he or she prepares for the day.
- Use your lunch hour to have lunch with your child. Many schools allow parents to join their children during lunch.
- Set aside time each night to help with homework. Ask to check answers of completed assignments and offer help for subjects in which your child struggles. Ask open-ended questions about assignments to check understanding. If your child does not have homework on a particular night, sit down and read or work ahead on assignments. As a parent, you should engage in educational activities on a daily basis to support academic efforts and educational development.
- Make education part of your family’s regular activities. On your next vacation, make time to visit the city’s museums or local exhibits. Take a trip to the library to gather summer reading books. Making education fun instills a lifelong passion for learning.
Fathers are becoming more involved with their children’s academic and social development. Evidence supports that participating in your children’s education helps ensure they reach their full academic potential in the classroom and develop positive social, emotional and behavioral habits. Engaged and involved fathers also create a broader acceptance of expanded gender roles, greater self-control and increased empathy and find a deeper sense of self-worth as a parent.
Take time to play an active role in your child’s education through participation, tutoring and support. You and your child will reap the benefits of a committed academic effort.
Notre Dame College (NDC) provides an accessible and affordable college degree. NDC offers a broad range of career-focused, accredited degree options to help you achieve your goals through education. Adult students benefit from our online degrees, which merge convenience and flexibility with NDC’s academic tradition of excellence. Check out the online bachelors degree in education and make an investment in your future with a degree from NDC.