Influence of parent al involvement on academic performance of preschool Children in Kangeta division, Meru county, Kenya
Veronicah, Muthoni, Mwirichia
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Parents of preschool children are often faced with unique challenges that hinder them from meeting the learners' needs. These include; insufficient time, job type, home rules, level of education, order of priority, set home environment, opinion to voluntary work at school, time taken to respond to school activities, buying instructional materials, attending parents meetings, conferences, sports ,academic clinic day, and discussing the academic progress of the child. If the above needs are not attended to, the child may not perform well because of inadequate parental support. The purpose of the study was to establish the influence of parental involvement on academic performance of preschool children in Kangeta division, Meru County, Kenya. The research study addressed the following specific objectives: To find out whether home environment has an influence on academic performance of preschool learners, establish whether the parent-school communication has an influence on academic performance of preschool learners, investigate whether parents' participation in educational activities at home have an influence on academic performance of preschool learners and find out whether parents' participation in educational activities at school have an influence on academic performance of preschool learners. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The following research instruments were used; interview schedules, questionnaires and documentary analysis. The sample size was 166 which comprised of parents, teachers and children. The data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 16.0. Descriptive statistics was used for analysis since the study was descriptive in nature. Presentation of data involved frequency, mean scores, data tables and bar graphs. The study established various forms of parents' participation in educational activities at school; education activities at home, parent-school communication and home environment had an influence on the academic performance of preschool learners. Home environment was found to have influence on academic performance of preschool learners both positively and negatively. Parents' involvement in educational activities at school was found to have indirect influence on academic performance of preschool learners, while involvement in educational activities at home had direct influence. Parent-school communication was found to be influencing academic performance of preschool learners to some extent. The study came up with the following recommendations: Parents should set study rooms which provide conducive home environment for doing home study, parents should set home rules to govern their children home study behavior, teachers should establish partnerships with parents to support learners' learning, parents and teachers should adopt modem method of communication such as mobile phone to enhance communication, parents' involvement in schools' activities should be encouraged and the government should consider developing and implementing policies that support this.