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close this bookParents and Learning (IAE - IBE, 2000, 36 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe International Academy of Education - IAE
View the documentSeries preface
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. The curriculum of the home
View the document2. The parent/child relationship
View the document3. The routine of family life
View the document4. Family expectations and supervision
View the document5. Homework
View the document6. School/home communication
View the document7. Parental involvement
View the document8. Parent education
View the document9. Family/school relationships
View the document10. Families and communities
View the documentReferences
View the documentBack Cover

1. The curriculum of the home

Identifiable patterns of family life contribute to a child’s ability to learn in school.

Research findings

Research on the curriculum of the home isolates specific patterns of family life that correspond with a child’s success in academic learning. Specifically, studies have positively linked certain family practices with a child’s learning. These family practices are listed here under three headings that will each be elucidated in later sections of this booklet.


· Daily conversation about everyday events;
· Expressions of affection;
· Family discussion of books, newspapers, magazines, television programmes;
· Family visits to libraries, museums, zoos, historical sites, cultural activities; and
· Encouragement to try new words, expand vocabulary.


· Formal study time at home;
· A daily routine that includes time to eat, sleep, play, work, study and read;
· A quiet place to study and read; and
· Family interest in hobbies, games, activities of educational value.


· Priority given to schoolwork and reading over television and recreation;
· Expectation of punctuality;
· Parental expectation that children do their best;
· Concern for correct and effective use of language;
· Parental monitoring of children’s peer group;
· Monitoring and joint analysis of televiewing; and
· Parental knowledge of child’s progress in school and personal growth.


When a child comes to school prepared by attitude, habit and skill to take the fullest advantage of the teacher’s instruction, the teacher’s own effectiveness is enhanced. Because we know that children learn best when their home environment includes the patterns of family life itemized above, it becomes the school’s task to assist parents in providing a positive curriculum of the home. Encouragingly, the family practices included in the curriculum of the home are possible in nearly every home, regardless of the parents’ level of education or socioeconomic status.

References: Applebee, Langer & Mullis (1989); Bloom (1964, 1981); Dav1963); Dolan (1981); Graue, Weinstein & Walberg (1983); Keeves (1972); Marjoribanks (1979); Walberg (1984); Wang, Haertel & Walberg (1993); Wolf (1964).