Trajectories of the Home Learning Environment Across the First 5 Years: Associations With children???s Vocabulary and Literacy Skills at Prekindergarten

Alicia Goldberg

This longitudinal study out of NYU examines the
connection between “home-learning environments” and school readiness by
tracking a representative sample of 1,852 low-income children at ages one, two,
three, and five. (The evaluation is based on things like the number of books
read to the child and maternal responsiveness to the child’s requests.) There’s
much to plumb here, but one takeaway emerges: Almost 70 percent of the
low-income children with consistently strong home environments (ten percent of
the total group) performed at or above the national averages for students from all socioeconomic
backgrounds—demonstrating the home’s gap-closing potential. Unfortunately, none
of the learning environments originally diagnosed as low in quality became
literacy-rich by the time the children started pre-Kindergarten, implying that
some children are already falling behind (and staying behind) after their first
year of life. Now if we could only figure out how to help more parents more
effectively play the role of their child’s first teacher.

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Click to listen to commentary on NYU's study from the Education Gadfly Show podcast

 

Eileen T. Rodriguez
and Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, “Trajectories
of the Home Learning Environment Across the First 5 Years: Associations With
Children’s Vocabulary and Literacy Skills at Prekindergarten
,” (New York,
N.Y.: New York University, July/August 2011).

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