Home Visitation Is N Activity
Home visitation is n activity that includes the visitation of parents and children in their homes by trained personnel such as teachers who convey information and support. The goal of home visitation program is to provide parent and child interaction, healthy child development, positive parenting skills, and decrease in child abuse and neglect among low-income families. The practice of home visitations has long been implemented in different schools in the country but not all of the teachers are conducting these activities. Oftentimes, teachers would only visit the homes of students when there are problems that would crop up and many parents also do the same thing. They just visit their children’s schools whenever they are called by the class adviser or the principal because of their children’s misbehavior or failing grades.
The Department of Education Memo No. 2, series of 2013 requires Home Visitation as stated in RPMS (Result Based Performance Management System ) and in IPCRF ( Individual Performance Commitment and Review Form ) of teachers and staff that provides a venue for agreement on standards of performance and —which lead to professional and personal growth in organization and as the bases of PBB (Performance Based Bonus). Under the Learning Teaching Process in the RPMS and IPCRF as pointed out in number 4 Counselled and Guided Students Evidences Home Visitation is one of the objectives and align to overall department goals. Apparently, there is a need for home visitations because educators have to know what happens in the world of the children with whom they work. They need to know their dreams, the language with which they skillfully depend themselves from the aggressiveness of their world, what they know independently of the school, and how they know it through home visitation. (Freere, 2002). A home visit program can show that teachers, principals and school staff are willing to “go more than halfway” to involve all parents in their children’s education by practicing home visitation. These visits help teachers demonstrate their interest in students’ families and they provide opportunities for teachers to understand their students better by seeing students in their home environments. Moreover, these visits are important for teachers, parents and students to discourage the latter from dropping out of school; to motivate parents to send back their children to school and for teachers to know the family situation of students.
Home visits are not really meant to replace parent-teacher conferences or to discuss children’s progress. When done early, before any school problems might arise, home visits signal that teachers are eager to work with all families and avoid putting parents on the defensive. Teachers who have made home visits say they build stronger relationships with parents and their children and improve attendance and achievement (Nieto, 2009). In the same vein, home visits are not a new concept. Teachers have been using them for many years and in the last few years an increasing number of schools have established successful home visit programs that have yielded many positive results. Regardless of whether their schools have established a home visit program, many teachers of English language learners have been using home visits as a way to learn about their students and their home environment and to establish a much-needed communication with communities and families (Slavit, 2008).
Even with the economic crisis and other challenges facing schools and families today, research indicates that parents are increasingly involved in their children’s education. It is evident with the activation of the Parent Teacher Community Association (PTCA). But to what extent is the role of the parents and the teachers in developing the students’ potentialities and abilities?
According to a survey (MelLife, 2011), 46% of students reported that their parents visit their schools at least twice monthly, up from just 16% in 1998. The survey also found that 91% of teachers and 80% of parents believe their schools help parents understand the steps that can be taken at home to boost student achievement. At home parents make the follow – up to their child’s assignments , performance of the child in the school ,peers whom they associate with ,the environment they are moving in and other needs that affects their learning. A continuous learning ,conducted by the parent and the child that strengthens the family relationship. Engaging parents in activities designed to improve child functioning across developmental areas ,educating parents about child development and strategies to enhance school readiness, and promoting positive parent –child interaction. Overall, the survey indicated that when teachers and parents share the goal of educating a child, everybody wins. Teachers are more satisfied with their jobs, parents spend more time engaging with the school, and children experience improved academic performance. Active involvement of parents in their children’s academic life can help enhance their learning skills. Oftentimes, the constant guidance of teachers and parents will inspire children to strive more academically.
Still, the surge in parent involvement is not universal. There remains a need for educators
to continue enlisting parents and other caregivers in ensuring children to succeed. Nowadays, working parents are too pre-occupied with their jobs that they have difficulty in attending to their children’s school needs and activities. It is undeniably true that presents given to children could not replace the presence of parents. To ensure children’s success, parents are expected to be always supportive to all their needs.
Proponents say home visits are an inexpensive way to improve the level of trust and communication between teachers and parents, leading to gains in test scores and attendance, and fewer disciplinary problems. In addition, such visits can counter the possibility of teachers and parents blaming each other for a child’s problems.
Where traditional parent-teacher conferences become on-sided affairs, school-sponsored home visits allow teachers to get to know their students’ families in the setting that is most familiar and comfortable to them. The visits are not targeted to challenging students. Rather, they are designed to foster positive communication early in the school year so that academic challenges can be effectively resolved should they arise.
Home visits are designed to bolster the premise that families and teachers are equal partners in a childhood’s development and that both parties bring unique attributes to the table. The parents are the first teachers of their children at home and whatever values and attitudes they have are being first acquired at home. Once they are already in school, these are reinforced by the school environment that they have including the influence of teachers, classmates and friends. Most importantly, home visits and the stronger relationship that come from them help support learning in the home, which researches have found to be particularly important for traditionally underachieving students.
The researcher is presently teaching in a public high school where there is a big student population. Many of the students are coming from poor families with very low monthly income and have difficulty in providing them their basic school needs. In some cases, students’ absenteeism and tardiness have become a problem because students allegedly help their parents in earning extra income for the family’s needs. She finds it easier to know the real reasons of their absences whenever she conducts home visitations to problem students in her classes. It is also for this reason why she finds it interesting to conduct a study on the home visitation practices of the other teachers in the school where she is teaching.
This study can be useful in such a way that it will heighten the awareness of teachers about the importance of conducting home visitations. Proposals for home visitation activities that may be undertaken by the teachers will be prepared by the researcher to serve as useful guides in doing home visitations. .