With the school year starting, has early reading made your child’s world a better place? Research shows that if your child is an early reader, he or she is likely to be better prepared for the Common Core State Standards adopted by 45 States, which expect kindergarteners to:
- take in information faster through listening comprehension and independent reading
- have more vocabulary and strong verbal skills
- have a strong reading foundation
These skills will prepare your child to demonstrate knowledge through standardized tests, public schools’ measure of student knowledge today.
Research supports that your child will benefit from early reading enrichment. The best research on the benefits of early enrichment comes from Dr. James Heckman – winner of the Noble Prize in economics in 2000 and professor of economics at University of Chicago. The world knows him best for his paper, “Schools, Skills and Synapses”, which concluded that early reading and other enrichment for preschoolers yield the greatest return.
Sadly, his research supports that children who are not reading on level by third grade generally do not even graduate high school. There is just too much “catch up” time. Once behind, these children cannot keep up with the academic rigors as they progress. What happens to these kids? Many go to prison, become pregnant as teenagers, or at best are unemployed.
My own experience supports the research. Over the years, I have volunteered regularly in public schools to help at-risk, early elementary students who were reading way below grade level. Even at third grade, most were motivated, but were very aware of how far behind they were in reading. By third grade, some had been suspended already for fighting and other acts of frustration. All of my at-risk, public school students would have performed better in school with reading enrichment experiences as preschoolers.
If your children are successful in school, they will go on to be successful in life! My experiences as an educator and parent – and data – support this conclusion. When we emphasize early reading, we can make our children’s world a better place – a place where they are successful and happy!
What skills have helped your children succeed in school?
Updated from an article first published on October 14, 2013.