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Families’ lack of understanding about how to help their children with homework

A lack of knowledge concerning their children’s curriculum is a common reason parents are not more engaged with their student’s homework (Peña, 2000). Other common reasons include not understanding the language, a lack of time, and a lack of clarity as to how they could help. As noted by multiple studies, a lack of engagement is not synonymous with lack of desire. A study of Crotian Roma parents found that parents felt it was their duty to help their children in their homework, more so than among the mainstream population (Pahič et. al. 2011). The same study noted, however, that while parents stated that there was at least one parent in the house capable of supporting their children with their learning, statistics from the Croatian Central Bureau for Statistics suggest that 40 per cent of Roma have never finished primary school, and as such potentially do not have the schools to support their children’s learning (Pahič et. al. 2011 p.287). 

Strategy: 

After learning about the benefits of homework, techniques on how to encourage a sense of responsibility toward learning among their children, strategies on how to get their children to finish their homework, and how to find resources to support them, parents were found to be more engaged in supporting their children’s homework (Chrispeels and Rivero 2001). Parents who are more involved in school are also more likely to help their children with homework at home. One technique that was found to work in an assessment of strategies and approaches to improve Gypsy, Roma and Traveller GR&T) educational outcomes was to broaden the reach of the school “through the provision of family learning opportunities, the use of ICT, adult literacy and numeracy classes” which served increase GR&T parents’ affinity/relationship with the school (Wilkin et al. 2009).  

Example: 

Csodaműhely is a social services organization that carries out its complex inequality reducing work in the town of Csobánka. The “tanoda” after school and educational program is an integral part of their work. In their activities, they place great emphasis on the fact that the members of the local community, the parents of school children, actively participate in the work of the organization and their children’s development. By now, several mothers of students have become employees of the organization and at the beginning of 2021, they launched their Roma mediator program with 8 local participants, who actively represent the interests of the local community and play the role of a „bridge” between the community and the local public institutions. Active participation enables parents of students in particular to support their children’s studies and to better understand the functioning of public institutions, such as the school system.