PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN PRESCHOOLERS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN IKOT EKPENE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Families fulfill an important function in every society. Most of the children in developed countries grow up in a family, which is responsible for teaching them norms and values that are essential in life. The future of children greatly depends on the household they grow up in. Nevertheless, a child is not in the position to choose his own family and has to accept it if the family is not capable of offering him or her the best opportunities.
Traditionally, the word ‘family’ refers to a married couple with one or more children. Within this family, the father normally has to work to earn his daily bread while the mother stayed at home to run the household and to take care of the children. This portrait of a family also refers to as the traditional male bread winner model (Lewis 2001). Martin Garcia and Dronkers (2003) considered the following family forms: children caring with both parents, with a single mother, with a mother and a step father or with both parents and family member.
Families reproduce people not only in terms of physical appearance but also emotional and culture. It means socializing process, changing a child from a creative into social person (Tam 2001). According to Epstein and sunders (2002) families and schools have worked together in stirring to give learners quality education since the beginning of formal schooling. Henderson and map (2002) highlight the importance of family by recognizing that “all family members, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and kin who may be friends or neighbors, often contribute in significant ways to children’s education and development.
ngaging families especially parents in the education of their young children at home and at school is increasingly viewed as an important way to support better learning outcomes for children (Gianzero 2001).
Gianzero (2001) also asserts that when schools work together with families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but throughout life. According to the family pediatrics report (2003), when the family environment enables their needs to be life, children generally turn out well, both socially and psychologically and their parents are satisfied with their lives.
Pena (2003) gives a list of the basic or universal functions of the family
1) Biological functions
(a) Satisfaction of sexual desires
(c) Nurture of children
2) Psychological functions
(a) Psychological security
Lunts (2003) gives the meaning of parents to include, guardians, step parents, siblings, members of extended family and any other adults that might carry the primary responsibilities for a Childs health,
development and education. Lunts (2005) article gives very clear definition of parenting by saying that this category includes the basic responsibilities of family such as providing housing health care nutrition, clothing and safety and creating home conditions that support children learning, example; purchasing necessary books and other school supply, providing a place to study etc parenting also implies that parents are warm and responsible to their children, communicate with them and support their development.
Parents play a crucial role in both the home and school environment, in general, parental involvement is associated with children’s higher achievement in language and mathematics enrolment in challenging programmes, greater academic persistence, better behaviour, better social skills and adaptation to school, better attendance and lower dropout rates (Henderson and mapp 2002).
Gadsden (2003) says greater parental involvement at early stage in children’s learning positively affects the Childs school performance including higher academic achievement.
Parent who are struggling just to stay afloat tend to work extra hours, odd shifts or multiple jobs and are less able to provide attention and affection and to devote their time, energy and resources to their children. These deficits have been associated with higher levels of externalizing behaviours and poor academic performance on children’s part (Toshikawa 2007).
Harvard family research project (HERP) (2006) believes that children must have a range of learning environment around them, or complementary learning. Such learning environment include;
Family’s, early childhood programs, schools out of school time programs and activities, libraries, museums and other community based institutions.
Learning materials such as textbooks writing materials picture books and charts are essential for the enhancement of preschooler’s performance, and will enable pupils to participate in classroom activities. Epstein and sanders (2002) and marshal (2006) in their observations that the parent compliment the work of schools through providing their children with the materials and support that they need to learn well.
Children require parental guidance in learning this is to ensure that they are motivated to learn and improve in their grades at school Parental guidance is very important to shape and mould a child’s future, parents can guide their children in doing well at school by spending time with children at home, helping children develop routine, by having regular homework time, instilling a love of reading in the child and creating a study environment (source: U.S. department of education 2002).
Parental involvement in school activities enables children to recognize the value of education this will enable pupils to develop encouragement in striving for success, in other to satisfy their parent. Nancy and lowaine (2004) assert that parental involvement in school programmes consists of activities like volunteering at school, communicating with teachers and other school personnel, assisting in academic activities at home and attending school events.
Luneburg and Irby (2002) reported that parental expectation for their children’s achievement, participating in school activities, offering encouragement and providing home learning environments produced more positive outcome for children.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Every child is an asset to the family and the nation to make the child futuristic and prospective the child must be trained and educated to develop potentials and abilities. This is the responsibility of parents, government and other stake holders in education of all these education starts from the home with the parents and siblings before the child gets to school for formal training. More often parents are required to provide for the schooling of the child through provision of resources like books and writing materials assistance or guidance in learning and participation in school activities.
Most often, some parent have been found wanting in the involvement in preschoolers education. This act tends to have negative impact on the education of the preschoolers. This study therefore attempts to investigate the extent of parental involvement in education of preschoolers in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- To what extent does parent involve in the provision of educational facilities for pupils performance in Ikot EKpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State?
- To what extent does parent involve in the provision of guidance services for pupils performance in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State?
- To what extent does parent involve in school programmes of preschoolers in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State?
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The study investigates parental involvement in the performance of preschoolers in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom State, specially the topic intends to:
- Examine the extent of parental provision of educational facilities for preschooler’s performance in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
- Examine the extent of parental provision of guidance services for preschooler’s performance in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
- Examine the extent of parental involvement in school programmes of preschooler’s in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is significant in the following ways:
- To help early childhood educationist and policy makers to see the need and urgency to educate parents on how they can be involved in preschooler’s education.
- To create an awareness to parents/guardians on ways of involving in the education of preschooler’s.
- The findings of this study offer a reference for future research that might investigate the same variables.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In order to carry out the research work successfully the study will be limited specifically to the following:
Parental provision of educational facilities for preschooler’s performance