Behavior Sampling and Ethnography: Complementary Methods for Understanding Home-School Connections among Latino Immigrant Families

Weisner, T. S., Ryan, G., Reese, L., Kroesen, K., Bernheimer, L., and Gallimore, R. (2001) Field Methods, 13(1): 20-46 Description: Both ethnography and experience-sampling methods (ESMs) are effective for assessing children’s home activities. The authors combined them to examine home activities that were school-like, complementary to school, or unrelated to school. The activities were then related to children’s school achievement in a sample of low-income Latino immigrant families and their ten- to eleven-year-old children at risk for low school achievement. Children reported a wide variety of types of activities in their evening routines. Children with higher school achievement were engaged in chores; homework; monitored outside activities; family social activities and hobbies; and self-directed, goal-oriented activities. Children with lower levels of school achievement tended to be engaged in more television, video games, peer and solitary play, and resting. ESMs are a valuable and effective complement to ethnographic and school achievement data in the study of home activities and home-school relationships. Sage Publications