Home learning environments

Chapter 6: Supporting Family Learning in Everyday Life

I didn’t know that there was so much Maths at home! … I think that parents should be helped to understand this more.

Parent of a five-year-old child

Chapter Overview:

This chapter considers how playful, meaningful learning can happen seamlessly between home and setting environments. Case studies show how learning opportunities can be constructed between parents and educators to create the positive relationships and enabling environments which English policy highlights as key factors in early learning (DfE, 2020). Whilst literacy is all pervasive, other areas of learning are explored in this chapter to consider how the ORIM framework supports practitioners and parents in constructing a ‘potent home-based pedagogy’ (Siraj-Blatchford and Sylva, 2004).

Chapter Objectives:

  • To explore what is meant by learning in the everyday;

  • To highlight ORIM approaches which promote parents’ contributions to their children’s learning through shared everyday experiences;

  • To consider theory and research underpinning children’s learning and implications for practice.

ORIM Arts Framework

Further Reading

Gura, P. (1994) Exploring Learning: Young Children and Block Play. London: Paul Chapman.
This classic book, reports a unique project drawing out many elements of learning through block play where accounts of children’s understanding of architecture, maths and design illuminate children’s knowledge and thinking.

Schofield, J. and Danks, F. (2014) Wild City Book: Frances Lincoln Ltd.
This book offers many suggestions for making being outdoors exciting. Ideas can be used with parents in workshops and offered as suggestions for things they do outdoors with their children.

Hedges, H., Cullen, J. and Jordan, B. (2011) Early years curriculum: funds of knowledge as a conceptual framework for children’s interests, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43:2, 185-205, DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2010.511275
An important paper reporting a two-year qualitative study which examined children’s interests and teachers’ engagement with curriculum interactions. The authors show how children’s interests were often stimulated by family experiences and their funds of knowledge gleaned from such experiences were extended into teachers’ curriculum planning.