Home learning environments

Chapter 11: A Manifesto for Family Learning - Birth to Five

‘We must try to do the right thing,
even if the powers that be are not quite ready to make this easy’.

Margaret McMillan (1923)

Chapter Overview

This chapter focuses on what needs to be done to support universally available, meaningful family-based learning for children birth to five. Reflecting on the case studies and the key messages throughout the book, we put forward an agenda for the future of home learning policy, practice and research.

Chapter Objectives:

To set out a manifesto for family learning from birth to five.

A Manifesto for Home Learning

Throughout the book Home Learning Environments for Young Children we see a number of recurrent themes, these include: children’s rights, poverty, families’ cultural capital, inclusion, funding, professional development, research collaborations and policy. Chapter 11 sets out an agenda for action as our Manifesto for Family Learning - Birth to Five; we believe that these eight vital actions will enable all families to enhance their young children’s learning.

It will require work to take the manifesto forward; to realise what is possible for all families who want it, as well as those families whose very circumstances prevent their seeing that need or taking advantage of what is available. Policy makers must be educated to see that the children’s learning in all families calls for sustained and significant investment, so that the achievement gap can be closed, and ‘underachievement’ becomes a thing of the past. We believe, on the strength of evidence that the book rests, that this can be accomplished.

This is possible.