|Some effects of higher levels of mother's education at different phases of child bearing and schooling.|
|Phase of child bearing/schooling||Effects of higher levels of mother's education|
|Before pregnancy||Higher economic productivity; better personal health care; lower fertility rates; smaller families|
|During pregnancy and at birth||Better prenatal care; more full-term births; higher birthweight babies; fewer learning disabilities|
|Before going to school||Better health care; better development of language, cognitive, and literacy skills; better preparation for schoolwork|
|During the school years||Higher participation rates in the schooling process; better management of homework; better advocacy for children's education and negotiation of school/child conflicts; higher academic achievement by children|
Typically, providing educational services to adults stimulates a greater interest on the part of parents to become involved with the education of their children. Research by the Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) in Washington, DC, USA, studied the effects of women's participation in basic skills training on (1) their behavior toward their children, (2) their interactions with teachers and participation in school activities, and (3) their children's behavior in school.3
Mothers reported that, as a result of their participation in the basic skills programs, they spent more time with their children talking about school, helping with homework, reading with their children and other activities. They also reported that they spent more time going to and helping with school activities and they talked more with teachers about their children's education. (see Figure 2, along with comparable data from the National Center for Family Literacy in 1994;12 all improvements are statistically reliable). The WOW mothers also reported that their children liked and attended school more, and they had showed improvements in their school grades, test scores , and reading.
12 National Center for Family Literacy (1994). The Power of Family Literacy. Louisville, KY.