Owning two of an object can predict school success. Can you guess what it is?

Of course, simply owning these objects won’t change anything, but it does indicate a pattern of behaviour in the family, and that’s what predicts children’s success in school.

Can you guess what the object is?

It’s bookcases.

On a materials level it makes no sense, that a series of particle-board slats named Billy would, just by their very existence in the living room, mean a child living in the same structure would do better in school than kids whose families lacked that product. But parents buy bookshelves for a reason, of course, and when they own two bookshelves or more it indicates that they like to buy books and presumably read them, and as it turns out, folks who like to read are more predisposed to see to it that their children do well in school.

All too often, I’ve known parents who buy plenty of books for their children and complain that their children just don’t seem to be interested in reading them. But the question is, of course, are the parents reading? Is reading seen to be a part of the family’s routine? If so, of course, children are much more likely to become readers. More time reading then correlates with all sorts of other things, such as literacy, vocabulary, introduction to other historical periods and cultures, etc.

I can see this with my son. He sees me read a lot, and he’s quite happy to choose a picture book and to sit with it for 45 minutes looking at the pages. So even though I don’t always remember or manage to read to him, I really don’t have any worries about his future literacy and interest in books.