Published on June 13th, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books0
How reading with your toddler makes a big difference to their school years
Cosima Marriner | Essential Baby
New research has shown that growing up with lots of books and being read to as a toddler have a bigger impact on the performance of a child starting school than their temperament or even their socio-economic background.
To determine the best predictors of a child’s ability to be organised, pay attention and stay on task in class, Queensland University of Technology and Charles Sturt University researchers tracked nearly 3500 children from birth to age six. Overall girls did better than boys when they started school, as did children from higher socio-economic backgrounds, according to the data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.
But the researchers found the quality of a child’s learning environment when they were toddlers was the most significant indicator of their ability to manage themselves at school.
“It was strongly predictive of academic, social and emotional outcomes later on,” said Sue Walker, an early childhood expert at QUT’s Faculty of Education.
Children who grew up in homes with lots of books and who enjoyed being read to for longer periods were most likely to perform well when they reached school. The research found a child’s learning environment at home was a better predictor of functioning than their temperament, ethnicity or the quality of their relationship with their parents.