New research on a child’s readiness for attending school has shown that if the child is exposed to more books before going to school, s/he is more likely to score in primary school assessment tests. The results of the study conducted in UK show that those children who were taken to the library more often and owned more books before attaining the age of 2 achieved higher scores. This is an indication that parents who inculcate the love for reading in kids as early as possible are making the foundation to get a head start at school.
The research also probed on positive effects of other activities on the children. Having parents who teach them wide ranging activities or attending pre-school has very good results for the child whereas prolonged exposure to television brought their scores down. The Role of Language in Children's Early Educational Outcomes report was the result of a study carried out by researchers at the University of the West of England.
The research did take into consideration the effect of social background on a child’s preparedness for attending school but emphasised that what parents do with their kids even before they begin to talk has more impact. According to Professor James Law, Newcastle University; one of the researchers in the study, it is a very positive message as it means a child’s education is not as influenced by traditional indicators of social risk such as having wealthy parents, mother’s education and housing. These socio-economic factors remain important later on in life.
The data for the current study was collected from the University of Bristol which conducted Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. It took into account children born between April 1991 and December 1992 in Bristol. Questionnaires were put to mothers during the child’s pre-school years and data from schools was also collected at the time of entry. It was evident from the ensuing analysis that a mother’s interaction with her child and the kind of activities she encouraged her kids to indulge in had an important effect on the child’s performance when the child was 5 years old. The mother was also influenced by how finanacially and emotionally supported she felt and the resources available to her in the first two years of her child’s birth.
Some specific findings of the research were that the kids who had a positive communication environment developed much better expressive vocabulary by the time they were two years old. The language, reading and math scores of these children were better when they entered school.
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