Kids + books = recipe for success?

Laura Miller wrote an essay for Salon about two recent studies that link the mere presence of books in a child's home with the number of years of education the child will complete. The first study (published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility) looked at samples from 27 nations, and found that "growing up in a household with 500 or more books is 'as great an advantage as having university-educated rather than unschooled parents, and twice the advantage of having a professional rather than an unskilled father.' Children with as few as 25 books in the family household completed on average two more years of schooling than children raised in homes without any books."

The second study will be published later this year in the journal Reading Psychology, and found that giving "low-income children 12 books (of their own choosing) on the first day of summer vacation 'may be as effective as summer school' in preventing 'summer slide' -- the degree to which lower-income students slip behind their more affluent peers academically every year."

I suspect the presence of books says a LOT about the value a household places on education (which might have something to do with the number of years a child spends in school, too), but find both of these studies fascinating nonetheless. Read on, my doves! It's good for you!
Posted by: Julianka


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