|Parents and Learning (IAE - IBE, 2000, 36 p.)|
Identifiable patterns of family life contribute to a childs ability to learn in school.
Research on the curriculum of the home isolates specific patterns of family life that correspond with a childs success in academic learning. Specifically, studies have positively linked certain family practices with a childs learning. These family practices are listed here under three headings that will each be elucidated in later sections of this booklet.
THE PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIP
· 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.
ROUTINE OF FAMILY LIFE
· 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.
FAMILY EXPECTATIONS AND SUPERVISION
· 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 childrens peer group;
· Monitoring and joint analysis of televiewing; and
· Parental knowledge of childs 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 teachers instruction, the teachers 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 schools 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).