Home Libraries Lead to Smarter Children

Home Libraries Lead to Smarter Children

medium_5097605926We’re sure you’ve heard it before—children who read and are read to end up smarter. It’s knowledge that has been largely perpetrated by anecdotal evidence, but it is undoubtedly real. Newly published research indicated that the presence of books in a home is having a positive impact on student test scores across the world.

The study, conducted by Mariah Evans of the University of Nevada-Reno, studied home libraries and test scores across 42 nations. The study reinforced early findings (which studied only 27 nations) that told the same tale. The benefit of books is especially pronounced in children from disadvantaged families.

The study also shows that, despite the current number of books in the home, each addition to the library helps students score better on standardized tests. The increases happen over families from all educational and occupational levels, though it is more pronounced in families with low education and low-status occupations.

The study looked at the academic achievement of 15 year old students by offering a test designed to provide a comprehensive, anonymous look at the effects of home libraries without class or ethnic bias.  Researchers also looked at family demographics and number of books (though not types of books).

Results remained consistent across both rich and poor nations, capitalist, socialist, and so on. Within nations, results were not necessarily equal across a cultural hierarchy—small home libraries that added books showed more contribution to student success than the addition of a book to an already huge home library. Still, the study showed that, universally, books are great!

Jason Hartman reads (at very minimum) one book a week—it helps with literacy, both financial and otherwise. Books help you internalize information you kind of know, learn completely new things, and challenge your assumptions. Education is a crucial component of being a financially literate, responsible investor and world citizen.

Books encourage children to read for pleasure and knowledge, provide families with topics for involved discussion, and improve vocabulary, imagination, and skill levels.

While the study raises the question of chickens and eggs, the “which came first” of books in the home reflecting a family culture of education or creating it, we do know that books matter.

Are you a reader? Tell us about the last good book you read, investment-related or otherwise!

(photo credit: …love Maegan via photopin cc)

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The Young Wealth Team