“Parent involvement” has become a popular phrase in schools, and for good reason. Supporting your child’s learning doesn’t just feel nice, it also makes a significant difference in a child’s performance.

What it is: Parent involvement can include things as different as quizzing your child on spelling words, volunteering in a classroom, or taking tickets at the school carnival. As long as your actions show that you value education, your child is likely to respond.

Why it matters: Decades of research shows that when parents get involved in their children’s education, kids do better in and out of school. Parent involvement is tied to better grades and higher test scores, better social skills, and improved behavior. Kids of involved parents are more likely to stay in school and are more likely to continue their education beyond high school.

How you can do it: Simple things such as reading a book together at bedtime really count. Communicating with the teacher about your child’s progress and challenges is important. Attending school events shows your child that school is an important part of your family life. Volunteering just a few hours a year can make a difference for the school. If you’re ready to do more, your school’s parent-teacher group can help you find ways to get involved that fit both your schedule and your interests.