What are the Effects of the Home Environment on Learning?

Learning is the process of absorbing new information in a meaningful way and putting it to use. Children and young adults learn a large portion of their knowledge at school. At school, previously unknown information is deliberately presented to students so they can use it both to pass tests and move on to other studies. This information is also used in myriad of practical life applications. A child's home environment has significant effects on learning and school performance.

The home environment can affect school performance. Credit: dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images

Building Blocks for Learning

The home environment provides the foundation for learning and is an element of the student's life that can affect grades, according to the Arkansas State Parental Information and Resource Center's Center for Effective Parenting. Providing opportunities to learn outside of school helps facilitate student success in the school environment, as reported by the University of Minnesota Extension. Education success was positively impacted by home learning opportunities such as parents reading to their children, trips to the library, and resources encouraging play with letters and numbers, according to education professionals reporting in the "British Educational Research Journal." The British researchers found that the mother's education level had the single most significant impact on a young child's academic success.

Getting Ready to Learn

Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children are well-fed, well-rested, happy and calm, according to the Arkansas State Parental Information and Resource Center. Creating a positive physical and mental atmosphere in the home helps prepare students to be ready and able to learn. A parent-child relationship characterized by nurturing, acceptance and encouragement, as well as parents' responsiveness to the child's needs, correlates with positive academic performance, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. Parental overprotectiveness, authoritarianism, disapproval and punishment often have a negative correlation with student learning.

Mighty Motivation

A student's learning success is enhanced when both parents and teachers clearly state their goals for student performance, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. Parents' positive aspirations for their children, especially teens, has a strong relationship with academic achievement. Motivation involves the student's own beliefs about his skill level and what the results will be if he tries a new task, notes the Arkansas State Parental Information and Resource Center. Parental expectations and communication about the value of learning and the child's skills have a powerful effect on the child's motivation to learn.

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