Teenagers dropping out of high school is
becoming more and more common. The number of students who drop out is
staggering. “Every year, over
1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That
is a student every 26 seconds – or 7,000 a day” (Do Something Blog). The number of high school drop outs grows
each year. Students who drop out find it difficult to enter the workforce and
find a well-paying job. There are many aspects that cause a student to make the
decision to drop out of high school. A common theme for most students who drop
out of high school is a lack of family involvement; there are many steps
families can take to resolve this matter.
According to “3 Reasons Students Drop Out of High School,” dropping out
of school is not an overnight process. This process often starts before the
child enters into any school system (Christopher’s Blog). Families that
establish routines and goals for students will help their child in the future. Some
parents are so wrapped up in their own lives, that their family becomes a second
priority. Parents have an important role in a student’s attendance. If a parent
cannot prioritize the student’s high school education, the student may choose
not to prioritize his or her high school education and drop out.
Marital issues between parents can also play a role in a student
dropping out of high school. An unstable family dynamic is a key contributor to
stress for high school students. Parents can be more consumed with the issues
in the marriage and are no longer focused on the student at home. Students who
come from divorced families may have a lower grade point average (GPA). A
divorce may lead to an inconsistency of discipline. One household may not as
strict while the other household is too strict. The issues at home may lead to behavioral
issues at school, as well as, a lack of focus on the school work.
A lack of discipline could result in a child dropping out of high school.
Discipline helps teach children right from wrong. If a child knows the
difference between right and wrong, it will help him or her make important
life-changing decisions. With a lack of discipline, a student could feel like
they can do no wrong and end up skipping school. If the student misses too many classes he or
she may fall behind with class work and homework, which will affect the overall
GPA. A student skipping school, classes, or a decreased GPA, could lead to the
student dropping out. The effects of not getting a high school diploma can
affect a person for the rest of this or her life.
As the economy goes through changes, the job market becomes more competitive
and presents more challenges for people without a high school diploma. “A high school dropout will earn $200,000 less
than a high school graduate over his lifetime” (Do Something Blog). Students
who finish high school are more likely to attend college and find a career,
instead of, just finding another job. Every employer and consumer benefits from
well-educated employees. Satisfaction with a job plays a large roll in a person’s
happiness. Job satisfaction should not be underestimated. A job that is enjoyed
is easier to stay at for a long period of time and establish financial stability.
A lack of financial stability can affect, not only the individual but the
family of the individual.
Some families may need financial help; however, parents should not lean
on adolescents for financial assistance. As Molly James
said, “32% of students drop out of high school
to find employment to assist their families financially” (James). Some families
may be eligible for financial assistance, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and unemployment.
A student may have to support themselves, or younger siblings. If a student must
work, some schools may offer work-study program. A work-study program offers a
student school credit for the part-time hours worked. Parents should not add more stress on the
students but should strive for a better life for their own children. There are many different things families can do to help a student succeed
In high school, students are very impressionable; a parent showing interest
in the student’s education can help the student show interest. Showing an
interest at home is a great way to help a student improve in school. Parents
have many options when it comes to getting involved in their student’s school
lives. Parents can implement study or homework time, while the parent helps the
student with homework. Parents can request to talk to teachers about the
student’s education. As a parent, use the teacher as a resource to help the
According to Ron Becker’s study “Analysis of Parent, Teacher, and Student
Perceptions of Parent Involvement at a Sumner County High School”, communication
between parent and teacher, as well as parent and student, is a very important
component for students to graduate (Becker, 49). A teacher enjoys parent involvement, it helps the teacher know that the
parents and the student care about his or her education. A teacher should be
willing to help the student and family, from an academic stand point. The
school’s website will be a great resource for the parent. Parents can check the
school website, and look at all the different services the website can offer.
Some schools offer the parents a way to monitor the student’s grades. Teachers,
along with schools, should encourage parent involvement. As stated in “Back to
School: How Parent Involvement Affects Student Achievement”, even though
parents and schools may have different ideas of how much involvement there
should be, the relationship between school and parent will have an impact on
the student’s level of achievement (Dervarics and O’Brien).
The student might also do well with short-term goals, such as, a grade
on a test, or turning in all homework assignments during the week. While the
student is achieving the short-term goals, help them set long-term goals, like deciding
what college the student would like to attend. A tip from “Parent and Family Engagement:
15 Tips to Help High School Students Achieve”, states that goals may change
over the course of the student’s high school career, but talking about the
changing goals or any obstacles will help the student stay focused (Barile). Students
and parents alike should keep a positive and open line of communication to make
the student comfortable with discussing his or her goals and aspirations. Staying
positive will help the student keep their goals in mind.
Something as simple as family dinner once or twice a week can help
engage a student. A weekly dinner could give the student an outlet to talk
about his or her week at school. Family meals can help lower stress levels
which will help with school work. Parents could use the time to reassure the student
of what they are doing and how well they are doing. Keeping a positive attitude
towards education will help the student keep a positive attitude towards school
and succeeding. The parents can encourage the student to invite a friend over
for dinner. Family dinner helps establish a routine.
In an ideal world, a parent should not have to worry about the student
completing a life milestone. Unfortunately, not everything will go according to
the original plan. If a parent or parents establishes a routine, and an open
line of communication, they will help the student succeed. The student will
have to have a prior desire to graduate. The parents can reiterate that
graduation is important, but it could fall on deaf ears if the student doesn’t want
to graduate. If a parent could take an hour or so out of the week to
communicate and help their child, it could help be the difference of a student
graduating or dropping out. A tiny amount of interest in a student’s life could
change their life for the better.