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Indicators

This is a supplemental indicator. Unlike core indicators, which, for the most part, are updated yearly, supplemental indicators may only be updated periodically.

Family Involvement in Education-Related Activities Outside of School
(Last Updated: July 2018)

The percentages of elementary school students who visited an art gallery, museum, or historical site or who visited a zoo or aquarium with their parents in the past month were higher in 2016 than in 2012. In contrast, the percentage of students who visited a library with their parents in the past month was lower in 2016 than in 2012.

Many parents engage in education-related activities with their children outside of school. Examples of these activities include visiting a library; going to a play, concert, or other live show; visiting an art gallery, museum, or historical site; visiting a zoo or aquarium; attending an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group; telling their child a story; doing arts and crafts; discussing family history/ethnic heritage; and playing board games or doing puzzles. This indicator presents parent-reported information on the extent to which students in kindergarten through grade 5 (i.e., elementary school students)participated in these education-related activities with their parents.


 Figure 1. Percentage of kindergartners through fifth-graders whose parents reported doing education-related activities with their children, by time period and type of activity: 2012 and 2016

Figure 1. Percentage of kindergartners through fifth-graders whose parents reported doing education-related activities with their children, by time period and type of activity: 2012 and 2016


NOTE: All information is based on parent reports. Excludes homeschooled children. Although rounded numbers are displayed, figures are based on unrounded percentages.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (NHES-PFI:2012 and NHES-PFI:2016) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. See Digest of Education Statistics 2017, tables 207.20 and 207.30.


Based on parent reports in 2016, many elementary school students engaged in education-related activities with their parents outside of school. Respondents reported that within the past month, 56 percent of students attended an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group; 42 percent visited a library; 34 percent went to a play, concert, or other live show; 33 percent visited a zoo or aquarium; and 30 percent visited an art gallery, museum, or historical site with their parents. Respondents reported that within the past week, 72 percent of students were told a story by their parents, 69 percent did arts and crafts, 67 percent played board games or did puzzles, and 51 percent discussed family history/ethnic heritage with their parents.

The percentages of elementary school students who engaged in education-related activities outside of school with their parents during the past month were higher in 2016 than in 2012 for two types of activities: visiting a zoo or aquarium (33 vs. 25 percent) and visiting an art gallery, museum, or historical site (30 vs. 26 percent). In contrast, a lower percentage of students in 2016 than in 2012 visited a library with their parents in the past month (42 vs. 46 percent). Among education-related activities measured over the past week, higher percentages of students in 2016 than in 2012 were told a story by their parents (72 vs. 69 percent) and played board games or did puzzles with their parents (67 vs. 64 percent).   

For most education-related activities outside of school, parents’ involvement in 2016 was not measurably different by the sex of their elementary school student. There were three exceptions: higher percentages of female students than of male students did arts and crafts with their parents in the past week (76 percent vs. 62 percent); discussed family history/ethnic heritage with their parents in the past week (54 percent vs. 48 percent); and went to a play, concert, or other live show with their parents in the past month (38 vs. 30 percent).


Figure 2. Percentage of kindergartners through fifth-graders whose parents reported doing education-related activities with their children, by time period, type of activity, and child’s race/ethnicity: 2016

Figure 2. Percentage of kindergartners through fifth-graders whose parents reported doing education-related activities with their children, by time period, type of activity, and child’s race/ethnicity: 2016


NOTE: All information is based on parent reports. Excludes homeschooled children. American Indian/Alaska Native are not presented because their data did not meet reporting standards. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Although rounded numbers are displayed, figures are based on unrounded percentages.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (NHES-PFI:2016) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. See Digest of Education Statistics 2017, tables 207.20 and 207.30.


In 2016, parents’ reported involvement in four education-related activites outside of school varied by race/ethnicity. For instance, the percentage of elementary school students who visited a library in the past month was higher for Asian/Pacific Islander students (57 percent) than for White (40 percent), Black (43 percent) and Hispanic (38 percent) students. The percentages of students who visited a zoo or aquarium with their parents in the past month were higher for Black (40 percent) and Hispanic (38 percent) students than for White students (28 percent). The percentage of students who attended an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group with their parents in the past month was higher for Black students (64 percent) than for White (57 percent) and Hispanic (51 percent) students. The percentage of students who discussed family history/ethnic heritage with their parents in the past week was higher for Black students (70 percent) than for students of Two or more races (59 percent), Asian/Pacific Islander students (56 percent), and White students (37 percent); the percentage was also higher for Hispanic students (64 percent) than for White students.


Figure 3. Percentage of kindergartners through fifth-graders whose parents reported doing education-related activities with their children, by time period, type of activity, and parents’ highest level of education: 2016

Figure 3. Percentage of kindergartners through fifth-graders whose parents reported doing education-related activities with their children, by time period, type of activity, and parents’ highest level of education: 2016


1 Includes parents who completed high school through equivalency programs, such as a GED program.
2 Includes parents with some graduate school but no graduate/professional degree.
NOTE: All information is based on parent reports. Excludes homeschooled children. Although rounded numbers are displayed, figures are based on unrounded percentages.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (NHES-PFI:2016) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. See Digest of Education Statistics 2017, tables 207.20 and 207.30.


Parents’ reported participation in most types of education-related activities outside of school in 2016 varied by their highest level of education. For example, the percentages of elementary school students who attended an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group with their parents in the past month were higher for students whose parents had a graduate/professional degree (66 percent) or a bachelor’s degree1 (61 percent) than for students whose parents only completed high school2 (50 percent) or did not complete high school (39 percent). However, the percentages of students who visited a zoo or aquarium with their parents in the past month were not measurably different by parents’ level of education.

The percentages of elementary school students who were told a story by their parents in the past week were higher for students whose parents had a bachelor’s degree (76 percent), had a graduate/professional degree (75 percent), or only completed high school (72 percent) than for students whose parents did not complete high school (60 percent); however, the percentages of students who were told a story by their parents were not measurably different between students whose parents only completed high school and those whose parents had a bachelor’s degree or had a graduate/professional degree. In general, the percentages of students who played board games or did puzzles and who did arts and crafts in the past week with their parents were not measurably different by parents’ level of education.


Figure 4. Percentage of kindergartners through fifth-graders whose parents reported doing education-related activities with their children, by time period, type of activity, and family income: 2016

Figure 4. Percentage of kindergartners through fifth-graders whose parents reported doing education-related activities with their children, by time period, type of activity, and family income: 2016


NOTE: All information is based on parent reports. Family’s income is reported in current dollars. Excludes homeschooled children. Although rounded numbers are displayed, figures are based on unrounded percentages.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (NHES-PFI:2016) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. See Digest of Education Statistics 2017, tables 207.20 and 207.30.


When examining parents’ reported involvement in education-related activities outside of school over the past month by family income, the percentages of elementary school students who went to a play, concert, or other live show with their parents were higher for students whose family income was over $100,000 (44 percent) or $75,001 to $100,000 (37 percent) than for those whose family income was $20,001 to $50,000 (27 percent) or $20,000 or less (22 percent) in 2016. Additionally, the percentage of students who visited an art gallery, museum, or historical site with their parents in the past month was higher for students whose family income was over $100,000 (37 percent) than for those in families with lower incomes. However, the percentages of students who visited a zoo or aquarium with their parents in the past month were not measurably different by family income level.

When examining parents’ reported involvement in education-related activities outside of school over the past week by family income, the percentages of elementary school students who were told a story by their parents were higher for students whose family income was over $100,000 or $75,001 to $100,000 (each 75 percent) than for those whose family income was $20,000 or less (66 percent) in 2016.


1 Includes parents with some graduate school but no graduate/professional degree.
2 Includes parents who completed high school through equivalency programs, such as a GED program.


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