Family learning provides a range of opportunities for families in the widest sense (children, parents, carers, grandparents) to learn together in order to raise skills across generations. These inter-generational programmes take place in partnership with schools or other organisations such as libraries, children's centres and youth clubs. They enable families to learn in a relaxed and 'fun' atmosphere, picking up ideas to reinforce learning at home. For many adults a family learning course can be the first step to taking up further adult learning and training opportunities or gaining a job.
Why family learning is important
Research has shown that families are our first and most important teachers, and that parental support is a key factor throughout a child's education. Children spend only 15% of their waking hours in school, which leaves 85% spent at home, with huge potential for learning.
Children whose parents support their learning and take a keen interest in their education do better at school and in later life. Family learning leads to improvements in:
- children's learning and behaviour
- adults' own skills and their awareness of opportunities for further learning
- adults' abilities to help their children learn
- adults' job prospects
- confidence for both adults and children to enjoy learning together
- positive attitudes towards education for adults and children
- offers parents a second chance to return to learning and develop their own skills
- has a huge impact on health, family relations and lifelong learning.