Parents’ own literacy habits influence children’s interest and motivation for reading (Serpell, Baker & Sonnenschein, 2005). We know that beliefs, values and attitudes can motivate someone to become an enthusiastic reader and another, a non-reader. These values are taught to children when they are young. For instance, parental beliefs, values and attitudes towards reading can to a larger extent determine whether their children will like or dislike reading. Barker and Scher (2002) found that parent’s positive attitude towards reading was predictive of children’s engagement in reading. Although we do not seem to have a universal agreement on the reading culture in many African societies, it can be concluded that in many cases, most parents may chose not to engage in reading when other options exist. Therefore, promoting positive reading habits among parents is an important policy consideration to both educators and society at large as it has a bearing on the educational achievement of children.
Home literacy environment can therefore be promoted through parental involvement. Parents being the first teachers of their children have a lot of influence on children’s literacy development. The extent to which parents actively embrace school activities at home have been found to influence academic achievement (Bennett, Martin & Weigel, 2002; Christian, Morrison, & Bryant, 1998; Fantuzzo, Tighe, & Childs, 2000; Leseman & deJong, 1998; Snow, Barnes, Chandler, Goodman, & Hemphill, 1991). What constitutes parental involvement needs to be explored.