Fathers’ and Mothers’ Home Learning Environments and Children’s Early Academic Outcomesedit
The home learning environment (HLE) that children experience early on is highly predictive of their later academic competencies; however, the bulk of this work is operationalized from mothers’ perspectives. This study investigates the HLE provided by both mothers and fathers to their preschoolers (n = 767), with consideration for how parents’ practices relate to one another as well as how these practices predict children’s early academic outcomes. Using an SEM framework, results indicate that while, overall, mothers provide HLE activities more frequently than fathers do, both mothers (ß = 0.18, p < 0.05) and fathers (ß = 0.22, p < 0.05) make unique contributions to their preschooler's early academic skills, but only for families where mother has less than a bachelor's degree. For families where mother has a bachelor's degree or higher, the effect of father's HLE practices is not a significant predictor of children's academics when considering mother's HLE. For all families, fathers are providing a variety of HLE activities to their young children; and, although these may occur less frequently than mothers' practices, they are particularly important for the academic development of children whose mothers have less than a bachelor's degree. Practical implications are discussed.