Homework in Middle Class Student: Parent Involvement

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Parent involvement at home is composed of numerous activities including whether and how parents are involved with their children’s homework, the extent to which reading is modeled and encouraged at home, and the socialization practices that parents use. This research paper tries to answer the question, ‘how does the involvement of family in homework of middle class students influence their performance?’ The paper will also seek to explore the hypothesis that parent involvement in homework in middle class students enhances education achievement. This will be done by looking at the methods in which the parents are involved in the learning of their children such as reports, practical events and conferences. Moreover, the research is aimed at investigating the various modes in which parents are involved in their children’s achievement in academics.

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Homework is very important to the students in middle school. It helps them to engage their parents in their learning and thus enabling the parents to gauge their kids and help them accordingly. The main problem occurs when the parents are not concerned with the education of their children. There are various documented reports that some parents are not concerned with the learning of their children. This is a problem as parents play a great role in their children’s performance. In this report we are going to look at the role that a parent plays in the child’s academic achievement (Hiatt-Michael, 2010, p. 58).

Homework consists of coursework that teachers assign to students to be performed away from the normal lessons in school; however, the same may be done either within or outside the school environment. Surveys indicate that most parents, educators, and the public agree that homework is beneficial and expect students to have some homework. Parents also expect to have some involvement with home work, a widespread agreement appears to translate to practice as most studies find that, in contrast to other forms of involvement, demographic variables like socioeconomic status (SES) and race/ ethnicity do not predict whether parents help with homework. In the past, parents have not been actively involved in the academic achievement of their children and this has been a problem that cost the success of their children.

There is great need to investigate the significance of the parent involvement in the homework of their children in middle class schools. This is because; their involvement plays an important role in building a firm academic foundation of their children. Teachers assign homework for various reasons. Generally, teachers give homework because they expect it to enhance learning and achievement, parental involvement, study skills, work habits and motivational dispositions. How well doing homework accomplishes these goals depends on several factors including the age of the student, how much they spend doing homework, their past school success, which school subjects were studied, and whether students receive help with homework. It is important to note that studies consistently find that minority and low-income parents help their children with homework as much as do majority and more affluent parents. Indeed, almost all studies have focused on achievement outcomes; very few have evaluated the other desired outcomes (Turner and West, 2006, p. 416).

Researchers have studied the association between student achievement and homework for some time and it has been found that among surveyed adolescents, more time reportedly spent doing homework is related positively to academic achievement, with benefits leveling out at two hours per day. However, the amount of time elementary students spend is related negatively to academic achievement. In addition, middle school students who do 90 minutes or less homework per night perform better in school than students who do no homework. However, middle school students who do more than 90 minutes a night tend to do worse, possibly due to the fact that they spend so much time, implying that those students are having serious difficulties in concentration in school. Parents are often encouraged and expected to be involved with their children’s homework so as to understand, support and encourage students’ school learning and success.

Studies examining whether parent participation in homework is beneficial have provided different views from different researchers, for instance, several meta-analyses demonstrate that, although the relationship between parent involvement with homework and student achievement is complex, some conclusions can be drawn about whether parental involvement with homework is associated with student achievement from consolidating the studies. Therefore, what is the relationship between family (parent) involvement in homework and academic achievement in middle school students?

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Literature review

Currently there are a lot of problems that the middle class students are going through in terms of performance especially those from poor families. This is because their parents are not involved in their homework studies. We find that students whose parents do not take part in their homework perform poorly even in class work. It was found that 75% of the students who performed well in school, their parents were actively involved in their homework. Students from upcountry tended to perform well since they are well attached to the community and can tap help from their parents and relatives. The highest percentages of the student who proceed to higher levels of learning are those whose parents were actively involved in their elementary studies. The main problem is that most parents have left the house-maids to bring up their children and thus are not much involved in their children’s academic achievement. The paper discusses the ways that parents can influence the academic achievement of their children through homework.

Students’ grade levels and parental homework help

The grade level of the student matters in determining the contributions of parental homework assistance. Different studies have shown that 65% of the parent help with homework was related to higher achievement among elementary and high school students but to lower achievement among middle school students. Meta-analysis of studies pertaining to urban high school students suggested that other factors like SES might moderate the contributions of parental homework help during high school because there was a significant positive effect size in studies with minimal control variables; but when stringent controls were used, contributions of parental help with homework to student grades or achievement test scores were positive but not statistically important. There are various probable reasons for the negative association between homework help and achievement observed with middle school students. Parents may have difficulty helping since the material is more difficult in middle school than elementary school, and the organization of the middle school also makes communication between teachers and parents more difficult. Therefore, parents may not be efficient, consistent, or aligned with teachers in how they assist. According to some evidence gotten from studies, parents help young adolescents with homework mainly when the student is struggling academically and this explains the negative association. There were traces of the fact that young adolescents perceive parental help as a threat to their burgeoning autonomy (Park, 2009 p. 26).

Parent involvement is detrimental to achievement in mathematics, while it is beneficial for achievement related to language art skills. Parents may have difficulty assisting in mathematics homework either because they struggled with mathematics or because the mathematics their children are learning is very different due to the mathematics reforms instituted after the parents finished school. Homework is a battleground creating discord as well as stress in families. However, there was no enough evidence to support this claim. In fact, when with their parents, students enjoyed homework more than when alone and concentrated better than with peers. Nevertheless, some adolescents experienced anger and stress when doing homework with parents, but assertions that homework battles are damaging families do not appear to be substantiated (Sigelman and Rider, 2008 p. 299).

Reading out of school and parent involvement

Parents were found to be a strong influence on children’s reading skills as well as enjoyment during the elementary school years. Reading books together fostered language development, whereas doing literacy activities together promoted literacy development. Parents of struggling readers who establish a literacy supportive home environment contributed to increased reading achievement by motivating their children to do more voluntary reading. Studies of older students have tended to focus on contributions of family demographic characteristics and the extent of adolescents’ leisure reading (Power, Karustis and Habboushe, 2001, p. 5).

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However, parental involvement at school might have different long-term implications for student achievement. According to research, students’ expectations to pursue a bachelor’s degree were positively associated with parents’ involvement at home as well as in parent-teacher organizations. This suggests that parental involvement shows the student that education is valuable and worthwhile goal. However, this interpretation is hypothetical since other variables like student’s grades can as well affect the student’s expectations. For instance, if the parents of one child were highly involved at school and at home, that child might have higher grades than if the parents were not involved. With higher grades, that student may see a bachelor’s degree as more achievable than would a student whose parents were not involved and who did not receive good grades. Therefore, although it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is about the parents’ involvement that would link to student achievement expectations, the study nevertheless reinforced the findings of other studies demonstrating a connection between parental involvement and academic performance (Juvonen and Rand Education, 2004, p. 88).

Expectation for educational attainment and performance

Parental expectations were consistently associated with student’s academic adjustment in numerous studies across varied demographic and age groups. Current studies have shown that 70 % of parental expectations were the most powerful predictor of academic achievement for urban adolescents among all forms of parental involvement. Helping students make the connection between what they are learning in school and their lives outside of school, and taking into account students’ interests might be as effective, perhaps more effective, for improving homework compliance as well as performance as drill and practice. The assignments can be geared to students’ academic levels; improving organizational skills can be built into the assignments (Cooper, Valentine and Corno, 2001, p. 178).

There were so many questions that rose concerning the direction of effects between expectations and academic achievement. Parent expectations might represent an accurate appraisal of how well students are doing in school, thus expectations match their children’s achievement. According to findings, parent expectations changed in response to how well their children were doing in school. Nevertheless, these findings did not reflect that the effects were one-directional since children’s success could evoke parental interest and involvement which may in turn promote further success. Similar to expectations, a significant feature of the connection between parental beliefs and their children’s development could be identifying the behavioral links between parental cognition and child outcomes (Turner and West, 2006, p. 416).

School subjects communication about school

Research about parent-child communication about school during elementary school had focused on conversations between parents and their children in informal and shared reading contexts. It was found that 80% of children’s vocabulary during elementary school, which is an important foundation for learning in all school subjects, was connected to the range of words that mothers used during conversations with their children. When parents and children converse and make connections to their own experiences, children learn more vocabulary and have better reading comprehension as well as achievement.

These moments of interaction reflected that families were spending time together participating in activities that could positively influence children’s academic achievement. The addition of what happens in the home environment as a dimension of involvement recognized culturally relevant practices of families and allowed educators to understand the complexity and diversity of parental involvement. The positive impact of parental involvement has been well documented in the literature. However, the process of parental involvement is still unclear. Studies have suggested that certain parental involvement dimensions may function as mediators in the relationship between parental involvement and academic achievement (Hoghughi and Long, 2004, p. 205).


The aim of this research was to investigate on the importance of the involvement of the parents in homework of the middle class students. The research was aimed at investigating the various modes in which parents are involved in their children’s achievement in academics. This would help generate the literature on the various ways by which parents could actively contribute on the academic success of their children. The research also tried to bring out the way in which parents could cooperate with teachers to achieve their desired goals.


Following the literature review in the previous page, we wish to present the methodology that was followed in the research of the hypothesis.


The research was geared at giving the reports on the results of a study designed to examine the extent of parental involvement, the extent to which middle level schools attempted to involve parents, and methods used by schools to achieve increased parental involvement. High parental participation, particularly in areas related to policy, was found to be significant in assuring the success of the middle school transition process. Administrative leadership, especially from the superintendence, was found to be a critical factor. There was provision of a profile of the characteristics of the eight graders’ families and the relationship between selected family background and parental involvement in their children’s education, as well as providing a closer look at the influences that specific types of parental involvement have on academic achievement and on whether or not eighth graders drop out of school between the ninth and tenth grades (Gilman, Furlong and Huebner, 2009, p. 269). The subjects of the reports comprise the following:

  • The families of middle class students,
  • How parents participate,
  • Parents expectations and beliefs,
  • School type and parental involvement
  • Parent involvement and student outcomes
  • Summary and conclusions.


There are various practical methods that could be used that focus on the positive aspects of the families in schools of their children. This was to provide a good ground for the parents influencing their children to avoid the abuse of substances in schools. These practical events include a teen theater group, professional story teller, sock hop, and family lunch hour. Family themes are also the focus in various content areas.

Another good instrument is the use of reports. These reports related to personal details of the struggle for parents to shape their children’s educational experiences. These repots gave detailed information of how parents programs can work for families of all ranges from the poor families to the rich families. The key purpose of these reports was to help and prevent students from dropping out of school due to lack of support. The reports describe the intervention efforts that have worked, what did not work, as well as the success of the program. The report also gave sound advice on how to reach – learn from – parents such as those in the inner-city middle schools (Gilman, Furlong and Huebner, 2009 p. 269).

Conferences are other instruments that offered good information on beliefs, including the welfare of the pre-adolescent as the common concern of both the teacher and the parent. They gave suggestions on how students can be active members of the conference and how they can input into their own behavior. The counseling report card was also a resourceful material for parents’ respondents. However, with these cards, students were allowed to preview their counseling report card and given the option of not having their parents view the card (Totten, et al.1996, p. 337).


These are the various ways by which the research was going to be carried out.. Reports were evaluated and the recoded data concerning the same topic reviewed. Conferences were held and offered sampling information on what has been going on in the previous. Various events were organized where the parents and students associated together with their teachers. There was a teacher, student and parent discussion that assisted both the teacher and the parent identify the problems of the student and come up with the best methods to help the student.

Demographic data in academic achievement

Poverty levels 70% of adolescents living in poverty have weaker math and reading skills and scored considerably lower on standardized test than middle and upper-class adolescents from well-up families.
Family background Family background variables like parental education and poverty are strongly associated with dropping out of students. 33% of poor females were more likely to leave school because of pregnancy, and males for work-related reasons.
Financial hardships Financial hardships were directly related to academic achievement. The level of involvement the mother had with the school, and observation of positive family relationships were related to higher economic resources as well as to higher levels of achievement.
Family structure 25% of student from single parent families were more likely to drop out of school.
Family location 80% of youth living in farm families were more likely to do well in school, since these families were more tied to the community than urban families.


Supporting parents to become more active in the teaching and learning process is a way to leverage parents as an important educational resource at home. Teachers should encourage students and parents to integrate their social and cultural knowledge into school-based activities. Given that students spend a substantial amount of time outside of school, it is important to take advantage of the rich experiences provided by time spent with their families. Activities that are not restricted to the school setting provide parents with a wider variety of opportunities to become involved in their children’s learning. The time that parents and children spend together during such activities, are also opportunities for each to share and discuss their knowledge and experiences. Therefore, schools that are striving to increase student success should expand parent outreach and integrate non-school based learning to promote parental involvement (Park, 2009, p. 45).


  1. Cooper, H., Valentine, J. C and Corno, L. (2001). Homework. NY: Routledge.
  2. Gilman, R., Furlong, M. J. and Huebner, E. S. (2009). Handbook of positive psychology in schools. NY, Taylor & Francis.
  3. Hiatt-Michael, D. B. (2010). Promising Practices to Support Family Involvement in Schools. NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.
  4. Hoghughi, M. and Long, N. (2004). Handbook of parenting: theory and research for practice. CA: SAGE.
  5. Juvonen, J. and Rand Education (Institute). (2004). Focus on the wonder years: challenges facing the American middle school. PA: Rand Corporation.
  6. Park, C. (2009). New perspectives on Asian American parents, students, and teacher recruitment. NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.
  7. Power, T. J., Karustis, J. L. and Habboushe, D. (2001). Homework success for children with ADHD: a family-school intervention program. NY: Guilford Press.
  8. Sigelman, C. K. and Rider, E. A. (2008). Life-Span Human Development. London: Cengage Learning.
  9. Totten, S. et al. (1996). Middle level education: an annotated bibliography. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.
  10. Turner, L. H. and West, R. (2006). The family communication sourcebook. CA: SAGE.

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ChalkyPapers. "Homework in Middle Class Student: Parent Involvement." January 31, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/homework-in-middle-class-student-parent-involvement/.