Every parent wants to have a child that thrives and one place they expect to get the child to develop this attitude especially when it comes to academics is a school. 

Schools have resumed in Nigeria and most parents happily took their children to school on Monday, January 7. 

But a recent paper, published after a research on what parents could do to make children fair better, shows that the burden of ensuring that a child will do well in life is not the sole responsibility of the school.

The publication entitled "Scholarly culture: How books in adolescence enhance adult literacy, numeracy and technology skills in 31 societies, was published by some authors in the United States and it says bookish home helps children thrive. 

According to the paper, the average number of books in a U.S. household is 114. 

The paper's authors studied 160,000 adults between 2011 and 2015 and found that just having 80 or more books in a home results in adults with significantly higher levels of literacy, numeracy, and information communication technology (ICT) skills.

"Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in these areas beyond the benefits accrued from parental education or own educational or occupational attainment," the study finds. 

The effect was found to be powerful in: Children from such homes who ended up attaining just a high-school-level education (secondary school) "become as literate, numerate and technologically apt in adulthood as university graduates who grew up with only a few books".

The study, led by Dr. Joanna Sikora of Australian National University, found that the issue was not about having more books.

Greatest gains in adult literacy, numeracy, and ICT skills come when a home had from 80 to 350 books — no additional gains were seen above that number, the study showed.

It suggests that there are two factors at play out when a home is bookish.

First is the impact of growing up in a pro-knowledge/learning social environment, since "adolescent exposure to books is an integral part of social practices that foster long term cognitive competencies".

Second, reading often helps individuals develop related skills, and, as the study says: "Early exposure to books in [the] parental home matters because books are an integral part of routines and practices that enhance lifelong cognitive competencies".

Moreover, "these competencies facilitate educational and occupational attainment, but they also lay a foundation for life-long routine activities that enhance literacy and numeracy," the study further said. 

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Since the report found that "university graduates who grew up with hardly any books around them had roughly average literacy levels," it stands to reason that having books around the house is an excellent investment in a child's future. 

Reading habit is dying in Nigeria and it appears that digital contents are taking over, but the the study also envisaged the possibility that as knowledge societies move towards digital literacy and numeracy, the consumption of printed materials and books will become obsolete as an indicator of scholarly culture.

"For now, however, the beneficial effects of home libraries in adolescence are large and hold in many different societies with no sign of diminution over time.

"Moreover, home library size is positively related to higher levels of digital literacy, so the evidence suggests that for some time to come, engagement with material objects of scholarly culture in parental homes, i.e. books, will continue to confer significant benefits for adult ICT competencies," the study added.

if you do not have a library in your home, consider setting up one to help that child thrive. 

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