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Parents Support Learning at Home Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Parents can support learning at home by helping their children with homework activities or by encouraging academic success (Balli, Demo, & Wedman, 1998). Though involvement takes many forms, educators generally agree that children perform better in school when their parents are involved in their child’s learning at home (Balli et al., 1998). Parental involvement offers numerous benefits to a child’s education, including increases in student engagement and academic achievement (Gonzalez-DeHass, Willems, & Doan Holbein, 2005; Sui-Chu & Willms, 1996).

The Learning Bar’s Parent Survey is based on a framework developed by Joyce Epstein designed to foster positive relations between school and community (Epstein et al., 2002). The survey covers parents’ perceptions of their children’s experiences at home and school, as well as the extent to which parents feel the school supports learning and positive behaviour and promotes a safe and inclusive environment.

Why is it important?  

  • Through modeling parents can support learning at home by demonstrating relevant attitudes, skills and knowledge (Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2001).  
  • The greater parents’ educational expectations are, the greater the students’ aspirations will be, resulting in higher academic achievement (Hong & Ho, 2005).  
  • Homework activities provide opportunities for parents to show their support of schoolwork (Balli et al., 1998).
  • Discussions at home between the child and parent concerning school-related matters have a strong positive relationship to academic achievement (Sui-Chu & Willms, 1996).
  • Students with parents that are involved in their education are more likely to take personal responsibility for their leaning (Gonzalez-DeHass, et al., 2005).  
  • Praise of a student’s efforts in the classroom and the home has the capacity to enhance a student’s intrinsic motivation (Henderlong & Lepper, 2002).

How do we measure it?

In Tell Them From Me, parents respond on a five-point scale which is scored as follows: 0 (Never or Hardly Ever), 1 (About Once a Week), 2 (About 2 or 3 Times a Week), 3 (About 4 or 5 Times a Week), and 4 (Every day or Almost Every day). The data are scaled on a 10-point scale and the results are reported as ‘the average score for parents support learning at home’.



Balli, S. J., Demo, D. H., & Wedman, J. F. (1998). Family involvement with children's homework: An intervention in the middle grades. Family Relations, 47(2), 149-157.

Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. C., Jansorn, N. R., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2002). School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Gonzalez-DeHass, A. R., Willems, P. P., & Doan Holbein, M. F. (2005). Examining the relationship between parental involvement and student motivation. Educational Psychology Review, 17(2), 99-123.

Henderlong, J., & Lepper, M. R. (2002). The effects of praise on children's intrinsic motivation: A review and synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 128(5), 774-795.

Hong, S., & Ho, H. Z. (2005). Direct and indirect longitudinal effects of parental involvement on student achievement: Second-order latent growth modelling across ethnic groups. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(1), 32-42.

Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., Battiato, A. C., Walker, J. M., Reed, R. P., DeJong, J. M., & Jones, K. P. (2001). Parental involvement in homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 195-209.

Sui-Chu, E. H., & Willms, J. D. (1996). Effects of parental involvement on eighth-grade achievement. Sociology of Education, 69(2), 126-141