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ERIC Number: ED521654
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 76
A Research Review: The Importance of Families and the Home Environment
Cole, Jennifer
National Literacy Trust
Parents are a child's first educator. A child's family and home environment has a strong impact on his/her language and literacy development and educational achievement. This impact is stronger during the child's early years but continues throughout their school years. Many background variables affect the impact of the family and home environment (such as socio-economic status, level of parental education, family size, etc.) but parental attitudes and behaviour, especially parents' involvement in home learning activities, can be crucial to children's achievement and can overcome the influences of other factors. Therefore, any policy aiming to improve literacy standards cannot be limited to formal educational settings, where children spend only a small proportion of their time. On the contrary, it needs to embrace the family as a whole and include parents as partners in their children's education from the very beginning of their children's lives. It should aim to raise parents' awareness of the difference they can make and set up systems that offer constant encouragement and support according to individual requirements and needs. This paper looks in detail at the range of research underpinning the National Literacy Trust's work with communities and local areas to embed a strategic approach to literacy. (Contains 6 figures and 9 footnotes.) [This work was written by Angelica Bonci in 2008, revised by Emily Mottram and Emily McCoy in June 2010, and revised by Jennifer Cole in March 2011.]
National Literacy Trust. Swire House, 59 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ, UK. Tel: +44-2078-282435; Fax: +44-2079-319986; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Literacy Trust (England)