The Importance of the Home Learning Environment
The interaction between parent and child at home can have a significant impact on a child’s language and literacy development. By engaging with books, songs and rhymes at home, all parents and carers can support their child’s learning.
* Children from a lower socio-economic background will go to school having heard 32 million fewer words than their middle class peers (Wolf: Proust and the Squid)
* At 20 months, babies of talkative parents knew 131 more words than infants of less talkative parents. At 24 months, the difference was 295 words (NHS Maternal Early Years Website)
* How parents interact with their children will have a lasting impact on the child.
Conducted in 27 nations across the globe, this study explores the impact that the presence of books in the home and growing up with a reading culture has on children’s wider academic attainment.
“Children growing up in homes with many books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.”
Key facts from the study:
- Creating a ‘reading culture’ and having a wide selection of books present in the home enhances a child’s educational attainment.
- Exposure to reading within the home had an effect regardless of where in the world the study was carried out.
- The impact of a home reading culture was strong regardless of other well-known factors in educational attainment: parents’ education, parent’s occupation, class, gender, nationality and under all political systems.
- Increasing the number of books in the home, even by one title at a time, has a great impact on a child’s learning and boosts their attainment in the first few years of school.
- Evidence of the benefits of a home library can be found in all areas of society. However, the greatest impact is felt in modest income families and those with the lowest levels of education.
- The presence of books in the home and the love of reading it creates is something that is likely to be passed from generation to generation within a family.