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Regardless of Parents’ Intellect

Books in the Home Advance a Child’s Education

"Perhaps families with more books are more likely to emphasize education? It may have nothing to do with the books at all."
- Robert in the comments

One of the strongest predictors of attaining higher education is having books in the home, according to sociologist Maria Evans, U of Nevada, who led a 20-year study to learn what helps children succeed. Evans found that it wasn’t necessarily parents’ levels of education that predict academic success. Books in the homes of even the barely literate were found to further a child’s education by an average of 3.2 years. In fact, children of parents with less education had more to gain by having books in their homes. Findings indicate that the more books in the home, the greater the gain, but even as few as 20 books can go a long way towards helping a child succeed academically. "You get a lot of 'bang for your book'," says Evans of this relatively inexpensive way to boost a child’s education.

Comments

Robert commenter Robert at 2:42 am on May 22, 2010

Perhaps families with more books are more likely to emphasize education? It may have nothing to do with the books at all.

Remus commenter Remus at 7:30 am on May 23, 2010

Robert has it exactly right. Just buying some books is not going to help your kid. Being curious and educated and concerned about learning will help your kid, and coincidentally it will mean that there is a high likelihood that you own books. It also indicates that you have a lower likelihood of having the TV blaring 24/7, and you are less likely to be surfing the web all night. It also probably correlates with higher income and less waste of money on silly, expensive stuff that will make it less likely your kid will be sent to college.

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