Hit the ground crawling.
Psych Central’s article Strong Vocabulary at Two Linked to Kindergarten Success by Traci Pedersen discusses the strong correlation of oral language and academic success.
A recent study conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University, University of California, Irvine, and Columbia University noticed an exciting trend between the vocabulary of two year olds and their academic performance in kindergarten. The greater the oral vocabulary of the toddler, the greater his success in kindergarten. The study took notice several factors affecting the child’s vocabulary including: socioeconomic differences, the health of the mother, birth weight, and the home environment.
George Farkas, a co-author and professor of Education at the University of California, Irvine comments: “These oral vocabulary gaps emerge as early as two years. Early interventions that effectively increase the size of children’s oral vocabulary may help at-risk two year-olds subsequently enter kindergarten classrooms better prepared academically and behaviorally. Interventions may need to be targeted to two year-olds being raised in disadvantaged home environments.”
Not only were children with stronger vocabularies better prepared for learning to read, but they also excelled in their social and communication skills, behavioral self-regulation, and mathematics. These children also experience fewer outbursts and bouts of anxiety within the classroom setting and interactions with their peers.
The importance of building a child’s oral vocabulary cannot be stressed enough. Early intervention in disadvantaged homes can help shrink the performance gap between children who have greater vocabularies due, in part, to having more resources within the home and those who are less fortunate is vital.
Children’s growing minds can absorb and retain more than we can possibly imagine. By taking the time to read to them, talk to them, and teach them we give our children a chance to succeed in kindergarten and in all of their academic endeavors that will impact their lives.
It’s never too early to start.