Parental Involvement in Learning. Parental involvement has been defined as “any interaction between a parent and a child that may contribute to the child’s development or direct participation with a child’s school in the interest of the child” (Reynolds 1992). Research conveys the idea that parental involvement in reading readiness of children can help most effectively through providing learning reinforcement at home and associated with closed monitoring of children’s learning development. In a research review by Rhoda McShane, Becher (1984) entitled, “Parent Involvement: A Review of Research and Principles of Successful Practice”, she highlighted the role that parents play as a big part in pupils’ achievements.
In other words, many educators believe that the involvement of parents have great effect in child’s learning. This is because several research findings showed that parent involvement at the pre-school level is more often found in the form of involvement at home. Parent involvement at home includes interactions between parent and child and activities such a reading books to children which may have benefits to educational outcomes and would greatly contribute to early reading literacy skills (Powell, et al., 2012). Moreover, parental involvement in early childhood has also been correlated with higher reading scores, fewer absences, and not many behavioral issues on the students side (Hiatt-Michael, 2001). Whereas the transition to kindergarten is an important developmental milestone for young children, their parents and teachers should work hand in hand to surpass this critical stage.
It is just sad to note that even if preparing students for kindergarten transition success has been identified as a national priority, the willingness of the parents to involve in this preparation is rarely considered. Parent involvement in school is not only beneficial to the students but also for the parents since they will be more aware of the needs of their child. They can also develop strong relationships and attitudes towards teachers, and it will be a lot easier for them to look for opportunities for their children (Laocque, Kleiman ; Darling, 2011). Curiosity regarding the ways in which parents help their children to develop the basic language skills for reading has been growing. In particular, the number of parent-child joint book reading experiences during early childhood is thought to set the stage for future differences in academic achievement.
In line with this hypothesis, researchers have been exploring the process of interactive reading to trace parental involvement (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/ 10.3102/00346543065001001). However, it is inevitable to find inconsistencies in the results of investigation regarding parent involvement and academic performance. In some cases, the variety of operational definitions of both academic performance and parental involvement has resulted to some inconsistent findings about how beneficial parental involvement is, with some studies reporting positive correlations between the two variables (Singh, et al., 1995), and others reporting no relationship of parental involvement on students’ academic performance (Storer, et. al., 1995).
This because parental involvement can take on diverse forms, thus, it can take on several meanings which are subjective to varying degrees.