‘Nothing I do can make a difference to my child’s achievement’


Sadly, I find this parent comment is not so unusual.


It made me wonder about how big the gap is between educators and parents, in terms of their understanding about what influences are more likely to make the difference to a child’s learning.


In the echelons of academia research there have at least emerged some shared understandings about the positive impact of parental involvement on children’s achievement.


The main consensus is around the quality of conversations at home between adults and children. Talk at home has a massive impact.


But what good is that if parents still don’t ‘get it’ – don’t realise their considerable influence (for good or bad) on their children’s achievements?


I’ve listed ten things below that have some degree of effect on children.


What do you think happened when a group of teachers - and then a group of parents - were asked to sort them according which they thought had the most influence on children’s achievements?


How would you list them?



Teachers delivering high quality teaching


Conversations between parents and children at home
The job(s) that parents do and hours they work



The child’s health
How much help with homework



How much money the family has
The amount of homework set  Good links between home and school – parents having an honest relationship with the child’s teacher


How well the parents did at school – how far they took their own education



Having access to school type resources at home: books, internet, quality writing materials etc. 


I know this wasn’t a scientific study but I found that parents were listing ‘Conversations between parents and children at home’ low down their list – whilst teachers did the opposite.


How can schools bridge the gaps of understanding, examine their own home school links and help parents do more of what really makes the difference?


Thinking Child resources are, by definition, designed to get children thinking – and the homework resources invite parents to get more involved with talking and thinking with their children at home., reinforcing what happens in school.


Why not start with the ideas in our ‘Let’s Think Homework’  book? – quick and easy mini challenges that can be done anywhere. Free samples are available for download on the website.




Lets Think Homework




Feel free to comment and tell me what you think.

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