Parents learn to get involved

A recent US and British study finds that students do better in school when parents take an active interest in their children's schoolwork

As the nation's school children prepare to head back to class, their parents may also have to start brushing up on their maths, grammar, geography, English. That's because the Danish school system is poised to integrate new knowledge taken from research indicating that parental input is essential in improving a child's performance in school.

Reading aloud out of books is fine, but computer-learning games, educational websites and days out to places like museums and the Planetarium are also integral to helping children better their grades.

The question remains, however: does parental input actually help the children learn more? The answer seems to be yes, according to The Danish Union of Teachers, the National Association of School Parents and the National Association of Municipalities.

These three organisations have begun a common campaign to get parents involved in the education of their kids by publishing seven new information brochures under the heading, 'Welcome to Co-operation. How can our children learn more in school?'

Although research on the subject is from outside Denmark, experts are convinced the results apply here as well.

'We unfortunately lack domestic research in this area, but both US and British researchers have documented that there is a noticeable effect when parents engage themselves in a child's schooling,' stated Helge Christiansen, a contributor to much of the campaigned material.

In the last couple years, many schools have started 'parent courses' in order to get parents to get involved with their children's education. The principal at Skovvang school in Hammel, Karl Erik Christiansen, stated that the effort seems to be having the desired effect, and added, 'We can't become better schools if we don't have the parents with us.'

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