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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.

Involvement of Elementary School Students' Families in Education-Related Activities Outside of School
(Last Updated: November 2015)

The percentages of elementary school students who visited an art gallery, museum, or historical site and who visited a zoo or aquarium with their parents in the past month were higher in 2012 than in 2003. In contrast, the percentages of students who went to a play, concert, or other live show; who visited a library; and who attended an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group with their parents in the past month were lower in 2012 than 2003.

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 children 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: 2003 and 2012

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: 2003 and 2012


1 In 2012, a single item asked parents if they had attended an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group. In 2003, attendance at an event sponsored by a religious group was asked about separately from attendance at an event sponsored by a community or ethnic group.
NOTE: While National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) administrations prior to 2012 were conducted via telephone with an interviewer, NHES:2012 used self-administered paper-and-pencil questionnaires that were mailed to respondents. Measurable differences in estimates between 2012 and prior years could reflect actual changes in the population, or the changes could be due to the mode change from telephone to mail. All information is based on parent reports. Excludes homeschooled children.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (PFI:2003 and 2012) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, tables 207.20 and 207.30.


Based on parent reports in 2012, many elementary school students engaged in education-related activities with their parents outside of school. In the month before the survey was conducted, 57 percent of students attended an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group, 46 percent visited a library, 32 percent went to a play, concert, or other live show, 26 percent visited an art gallery, museum, or historical site, and 25 percent visited a zoo or aquarium with their parents. In addition, in the week before the survey was administered, 69 percent of students were told a story by their parents, 67 percent did arts and crafts, 64 percent played board games or did puzzles, and 49 percent discussed family history/ethnic heritage with their parents.

The percentage of elementary school students who engaged in education-related activities outside of school with their parents during the past month was higher in 2012 than in 20031 for two types of activities: visiting an art gallery, museum, or historical site (26 vs. 22 percent) and visiting a zoo or aquarium (25 vs. 17 percent). In contrast, lower percentages of students in 2012 than in 2003 visited a library (46 vs. 50 percent), went to a play, concert, or other live show (32 vs. 36 percent), and attended an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group (57 vs. 62 percent) with their parents in the past month. Similarly, lower percentages of students in 2012 than in 2003 were told a story (69 vs. 75 percent), did arts and crafts (67 vs. 75 percent), discussed family history/ethnic heritage (49 vs. 53 percent), and played board games or did puzzles (64 vs. 73 percent) with their parents in the past week.

In general, parents' involvement in education-related activities outside of school in 2012 did not differ measurably by the sex of their elementary school student. There were two exceptions: a higher percentage of female students (34 percent) than of male students (30 percent) went to a play, concert, or other live show with their parents in the past month, and a higher percentage of female students (74 percent) than of male students (61 percent) did arts and crafts with their parents in the past week.


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: 2012

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: 2012


NOTE: All information is based on parent reports. Excludes homeschooled children. "Other" includes children of a race/ethnicity group other than White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (PFI:2012) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, tables 207.20 and 207.30.


Parents' reported involvement in education-related activities outside of school in 2012 differed by race/ ethnicity. For instance, the percentage of elementary school students who went to a play, concert, or other live show with their parents in the past month was lower for Hispanic students (27 percent) than for White (34 percent), Black (36 percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander students (37 percent). The percentage of students who visited a zoo or aquarium with their parents in the past month was lower for White students (21 percent) than for Black (28 percent), Hispanic (29 percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander students (33 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 (69 percent) than for White (57 percent), Hispanic (54 percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander students (51 percent). The percentage of students who discussed family history/ethnic heritage with their parents in the past week was highest for Asian/Pacific Islander (69 percent) and Black students (67 percent), followed by Hispanic students (58 percent); the percentage was lowest for White students (37 percent). The percentage of students who did arts and crafts with their parents in the past week was not measurably different by race/ethnicity.


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: 2012

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: 2012


NOTE: All information is based on parent reports. The term "parents" also includes guardians. Excludes homeschooled children.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (PFI:2012) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, tables 207.20 and 207.30.


Parents' reported participation in some education-related activities outside of school in 2012 was higher for elementary school students whose parents had a bachelor's or a graduate/professional degree than for students whose parents did not graduate from high school or had only completed high school.2 For example, the percentage of students who visited a library with their parents in the past week was higher for students whose parents had a bachelor's degree or some graduate education (51 percent) or a graduate/professional degree (58 percent) than for students whose parents did not graduate from high school (37 percent) or had only completed high school (45 percent). Additionally, the percentage of students who went to a play, concert, or other live show with their parents in the past month was higher for students whose parents had a bachelor's degree or some graduate education (38 percent) or a graduate/professional degree (45 percent) than for students whose parents did not graduate from high school (19 percent) or had only completed high school (26 percent). In contrast, the percentage of students who discussed family history/ethnic heritage with their parents in the past week was higher for students whose parents did not complete high school (61 percent) than for students whose parents had a bachelor's degree or some graduate education (46 percent) or a graduate/professional degree (52 percent). The percentages of students who visited a zoo or aquarium in the past month, played board games or did puzzles in the past week, and who did arts and crafts in the past week with their parents did not differ measurably 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 poverty status: 2012

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 poverty status: 2012


NOTE: All information is based on parent reports. Excludes homeschooled children. Poverty status is defined in terms of the Census Bureau's poverty threshold, a dollar amount that varies depending on a family's size and composition and is updated annually to account for inflation. In 2012, for example, the poverty threshold for a family of four with two children was $23,283. Poor children are those with family incomes below the poverty threshold, near-poor children are those whose family incomes ranged from the poverty threshold to 199 percent of the poverty threshold, and nonpoor children are those with family incomes at or above 200 percent of the poverty threshold. Survey respondents are asked to select the range within which their income falls, rather than giving the exact amount of their income; therefore, the measure of poverty status is an approximation.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (PFI:2012) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, tables 207.20 and 207.30.


For some types of education-related activities outside of school, parents' involvement varied by family poverty status. According to parents, the percentage of elementary school students who went to a play, concert, or other live show with their parents in the past month was higher for students from nonpoor families (37 percent) than for students from poor families (23 percent). Similarly, the percentage of students who visited an art gallery, museum, or historical site with their parents in the past month was higher for students from nonpoor families (30 percent) than for students from poor families (18 percent). In contrast, the percentage of students who did arts and crafts with their parents in the past week was higher for students from poor families (72 percent) than for students from nonpoor families (65 percent). Similarly, the percentage of students who discussed family history/ethnic heritage with their parents in the past week was higher for students from poor families (58 percent) than for students from nonpoor families (46 percent). The percentages of students who participated in education-related activities with their parents were not measurably different by poverty status for the following activities: visiting a library; visiting a zoo or aquarium; attending an event sponsored by a community, religious, or ethnic group; being told a story; and playing board games or doing puzzles.


1 The National Household Education Survey (NHES) 2012 was a self-administered paper-and-pencil questionnaire that was mailed to respondents, whereas NHES administrations prior to 2012 were conducted by telephone with an interviewer. Measurable differences in estimates between 2012 and prior years could reflect actual changes in the population, or the changes could be due to the mode change from telephone to mail.
2 Includes parents who completed high school through equivalency programs, such as a GED program.