The Number One Way to Help Children in Their Education

By Lauren Hall
March 15, 2024
Kids in a classroom

As the CEO of a nonprofit organization, I often find myself in a room with a variety of community leaders and decision makers. As the mom of a preschooler, I often find myself surrounded by parents of young children. In both kinds of gatherings, education regularly becomes a loud, boisterous and sometimes hostile conversation. Opinions and ideas fly out of mouths like daggers.

“Homeschool is the only way to go.”

“The public education system isn’t all flawed, the teachers are under-resourced.” 

“Private school solves every problem.”

Do a quick Google search of “How to help children in their education.” You’ll find thousands of articles focused on helping elementary aged children read, use their creativity and build their focus. The common thread pulling these articles together? They’re written to parents who are looking to be more engaged with their child’s education at home, outside of a classroom’s four walls.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), when elementary age students have involved and engaged parents, they are more likely to: 

  • Earn higher grades and test scores
  • Graduate from high school and attend post-secondary education
  • Develop self-confidence and motivation 
  • Have better social skills and behavior

These children are also less likely to:

  • Suffer from low self-esteem
  • Require redirection
  • Develop behavioral issues
  • Make poor decisions

Digging deeper into the research, children achieve more when their parents are engaged regardless of whether they attend a public or private school or are homeschooled. 

With this in mind, please note, I’m not trying to start an education debate. Every child learns differently, every family has different ideals and access to resources, and every educational environment carries its own influential factors.

But, are we asking the right questions?

Whose responsibility is it to make sure children are learning well and receiving the education they need to thrive in society? Going back to the research, parental involvement bears great influence on a child’s educational outcomes. Knowing this, how is our community as a whole supporting students and their parents/caregivers in the educational process?

These questions go beyond the public system, the private schools and the homeschool groups. It involves every aspect of the community– from nonprofit organizations and churches to government agencies and every sector of business. 

Parents’ and caregivers’ responsibility doesn’t end when they choose a school or educational path for their child.

If we truly want to nurture the next generation and provide equal opportunities for all, compassion and support must be provided to parents and caregivers across the board. This investment means success for our entire community.

Let me be the first to say, I don’t have all the answers. Education in and of itself is complex and each situation is different. There are many opinions and experiences that color the educational debate. Regardless of where you stand, there’s no denying the need for parental engagement in the lives of children. 

Helen Keller wrote, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Are we willing to work together toward holistic solutions for the good of the children in our community? Or will we inadvertently build walls of division and create obstacles for opportunity?

Lauren Hall is the President and CEO of First Things First and can be contacted at [email protected].

Note: If you’re a parent or caregiver in search of assistance in connecting with your child, First Things First has FREE one-on-one coaching resources to guide you on your journey. Go to or email us at [email protected] to learn more.

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