Kids who learn reading and math at home show improved skills years later
A recent study is highlighting the importance of teaching children at home in their preschool years. The researchers found that learning at home early in life led to developmental advantages that continued into adolescence.
For example, preschoolers whose parents read books with them on a regular basis were found to score higher on math tests when they were 12 years old.
“Our results underline the great importance of exposing children to books for development not just in literacy but numeracy too: early language skills not only improve a child’s reading but also boost mathematical ability,” said study lead author Dr. Simone Lehrl of the University of Bamberg.
“Encouraging caregivers to engage with their children in direct literacy activities, shared book reading and advanced verbal interactions during reading, and to include language and mathematical content during these activities, should promote children’s reading and mathematical abilities in secondary school. Such experiences lay a strong foundation for later school success.”
The study was focused on 229 German children, who were followed from three years old through secondary school. The reading and math skills of the participants were tested each year from 3 to 5 years old and again when they were 12 or 13 years old.
Aspects of the children’s home learning environment and the quality of verbal parent-child interactions regarding language and mathematics were also assessed by the researchers.
The introduction of literacy, language, and arithmetic skills among preschoolers led to higher test scores years during adolescence. Early reading activities not only improved language and reading comprehension skills, but also boosted numerical skills. This effect worked both ways, and children whose parents taught them mathematics early on also exhibited better language skills.
The study is published in the journal School Effectiveness and School Improvement.
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