Background of the Study
Today’s children are fundamental to society because they are our future; they hold the key to change, and in turn a successful future, in their hands. Therefore, it is society’s duty to provide them with a complete education that teaches them how to work together successfully, how to question what is in front of them, and how to be catalysts of change. This education starts with what children learn from their parents and from what they learn in the first few years of their lives. This initial education impacts the rest of their lives, and inherently society’s future. In his research, Henderson and Mapp (2002) concludes that “Home background plays a significant role in a young child’s orientation to literacy [and to education]. But home background is a complex of economic, social, cultural, and even personal factors.”
Neuman, Susan, and David, Dickinson (2002) said that most research done on the parental involvement in their children’s education, the most influential of these four interconnected elements described by them are the personal backgrounds and the economic backgrounds of parents. These two components also largely contribute to the home environment that they provide for their children. With this information, it is important to note that parents are one of the most influential yet significantly underrated factors in their children’s education, and society should encourage more parental participation in public education.
Education not only provides knowledge and skills, but also inculcates values, training of instincts, fostering right attitude and habits. According to Muhammed and Muhammed (2010) they are of the opinion that, cultural heritage and values are transmitted from one generation to another through Education. The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hand of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion by sociologist that education can be an instrument of cultural change which is being taught from home is relevant in this discuss. It is not out of place to imagine that parental socio-economic background can have possible effects on the academic achievement of children in school. Whatsoever affect the developmental stage of children would possibly affect their education or disposition to it. Parental status is one of such variables. When a woman’s nutritional status improves, so too does the nutrition of her young children “Parents of different occupational classes often have different styles of child rearing, different ways of disciplining their children and different ways of reacting to their children. These differences do not express themselves consistently as expected in the case of every family; rather they influence the average tendencies of families for different occupational classes.” (Rothestein, 2004).
In line with the above assertion, Hill et al. (2004) had also argued that socio-economic status of parents do not only affect the academic performance, but also makes it possible for children from low background to compete with their counterparts from high socio-economic background under the same academic environment.
The influence of parents on pre-school children’s school performance is well documented in numerous studies. Gadsden, (2003) says greater parental involvement at early stage in children’s learning, positively affects the child’s school performance including higher academic achievement. He further says that family whose children are doing well in school exhibit the following characters:
- Establish a daily family routine by providing time and a quiet place to study with the children and assigning responsibility for house hold chores.
- Monitor out-of-school activities, for example setting limits on television watching, reduce time of playing, monitor the groups of friends the pupils walk with.
- Encourage children’s development and progress in school; that is maintaining a worm and supportive home, showing interest in children’s progress at school, helping him or her with homework, discussing the value of a good education and future career with children.
There is evidence that poor home background will affect preschool children academic performance. According to Grissmer, (2003) cited that parents’ level of education is the most important factor affecting preschool children academic achievement. He further explains that parents’ educational background influence the academic achievement of pupils, this is because the parents would be in a good position to be second teachers to the child; and even guide and counsel the child on the best way to perform well in education and provide the necessary materials needed by him/her. This was supported by Musgrave, (2000) who said that a child that comes from an educated home would like to follow the steps of his/her family and by this, work actively in his/her studies. Parents who have more than a minimum level of education are expected to have a favoured attitude to the child’s education and to encourage and help him/her with school work. They provide library facilities to encourage the child to show examples in activities of intellectual type such as reading of poem, children magazines. They are likely to have wider vocabulary by which the children can benefit and develop language fluency.
Moreover, Smith, Fagan and Ulvund (2002) had asserted that significant predictor of intellectual performance at age of 8 years included parental socio-economic status (SES). In the same vein, other researchers had posited that parental SES could affect school children as to bring about flexibility to adjustment to the different school schedules (Guerin et al., 2001). The same view is shared by Machebe (2012), in her research, concluded that, parental socio-economic status could influence academic performance of their children at school. In a previous
local finding in Nigeria, Oni (2007) and Omoegun (2007) had averred that there is significant difference betweenthe rates of deviant behaviour among students from high and low socio-economic statuses.
The health status of the children which could also be traceable to parental socio-economic background can beanother factor that can affect the academic performance of the students,Adewale (2002) had reported that in a rural community where nutritional status is relatively low and health problems are prevalent, children academicperformance is greatly hindered. This assertion is again hinged on nature of parental socio-economicbackground. Moreover, when a child get proper nutrition, health care, stimulation during pre-school years, the ability to interact with and take optimal advantage of the full complement ofresources offered by a formal learning environment is enhanced.
The foregoing discussion had established that socio-economic status and host of other factors relating to homeenvironment of students, such as educational background of parents, health status of students, parentaloccupation and family size could have effects on children academic achievement.
It is against this background that this work is being undertaken to empirically investigate the perceived effect of family background on the academic performance of pre-school pupils in Ikere local government area EkitiState.
Statement of the Problem
Societies all over the world strive to achieve quantitative education for her citizenry. In order to achieve this noble course, so many factors must be put into consideration. Among them is the family background of pre-school children. The family has a great role to play on the overall development of the child and his educational upbringing in particular. The gap in performance between pupils and academic excellence constitute a great source of worry and serious concern as well as discomfiture to parents, schools mangers, policy makers and various governments responsible for the education of children’ in preschools.
In light of the above issues, the outstanding and relevant question is: what is the perceived effect of family background on the academic performance of preschool pupils?
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study was to find out the perceived nfluence of home background on the academic performance of preschool pupils in Ikerelocal government area of EkitiState. This study is being undertaken with the following objectives;
- To find out the effect of parental financial status on preschool children academic performance in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
- To examine the influence of parental occupation on preschool children academic performance in the study area.
- To examine the level of parental involvement on preschool children education performance in the study area.
Significance of the Study
The importance of achieving the objectives of education programmed among the general populace cannot be over emphasized. A researcher, Laosa, (2005) had posted as follows:
- “The educational achievement gap has deep root, it is evident very early in child’s lives, even before they enter schools. Socio-economic differences – such as health and nutrition status, home environments that provide access to academically related experiences, mobility rates, and financial assets can certainly influence academic achievements” (Laosa, 2005:5).
- Practically, the finding of this study will be useful to the following: the teachers, students, parents, school guidance counselors, Parents Teachers Association (PTA), educational administrators and the society at large.
- This method may yield more positive result than the traditional system which assumes that all children have similar family background. The findings of the study will also help teachers to exercise patience with slow-learners as they vary methods of instruction to accommodate divergent family background.
- The findings will be of immense importance to students. The students will realize that their poor performance might not necessarily be their fault alone, especially those from low status families. Such knowledge will go a long way to reduce frustration in the students and also reduce drop-outs which occur as a result of frustration. Rather, the students should be made to adjust and help themselves by studying hard at home and also make proper of the books and materials that are provided for them at the school library.
- Through the findings of this study, parents will realize the importance of improving their educational standard so as to influence their children’s academic performance. Parents will also understand the need for them to improve their socioeconomic status so as to be able to provide the necessary motivation in form of learning materials and other things which will enhance their children’s learning and their academic performance. They will equally acknowledge the importance of positive motivations and encouragement and provide some, by making the family environment more conducive for their children.
The study would provide answers to the following research questions:
- What are the effects of parental financial status on preschool children academic performance in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State?
- To what extent does parental occupation influence preschool children academic performance in the study area?
- Does the level of parental involvement on preschool children education help their academic performance in the study area?
The following null hypothetical statements are made with respect to the objectives of the study:
- There is no significant difference between parentalfinancial status and preschool children academic performance in the study area.
- There is no significant difference between parental occupation and preschool children academic performance in the study area.
- There is no significant difference between parental level of education involvement and preschool children academic performance in the study area.
Scope of Study
This study is delimited to preschool teachers and parents’ in Ikere local government area ofEkiti State. The context scope of this study is limited to finding the perceiveseffect offamily background on the academic performance of preschool pupils with particular regards to parental financial status; parental occupation, and parental involvement and motivation.
Definition of Terms
Student academic achievement: This term refers to the student’s overall average in science, social studies, English and mathematics expressed as a percent grade.
Parenting style: – The overall emotional climate of the parent-child relationship – an effective context of sorts that sets the tone for the parent’s interactions with the child.
Parental Involvement: – Any form of verbal or non-verbal communication or assistance in references to a child’s homework.
Parent: The term parent are used in this study includes, in addition to a natural parent a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis, such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for a child’s welfare