To Top

Giving Your Preschooler an Academic Advantage

Though this sounds like a sales pitch, there is nothing being sold.  The techniques discussed here will improve your child’s performance and give them an academic advantage in school through age nine. First, a little background. In the 1980s two psychologists named Betty Hart and Todd Risley began a study to determine why students from more affluent backgrounds achieved better academically than less affluent students. Their determination was that affluent students interacted with people far more; to the tune of 32 million more words by age five. It is important to realize that interaction is much more important than the child merely observing the words. They needed to speak them and interact in the discussion.

One of the best ways to have interaction with children is during story time.  Often caregivers will simply read the selected book(s) to the child which provides the child with entertainment, but not a lot of mental stimulation. Start by looking at the cover of the book with the child. Ask them to describe the pictures on the cover. More often than not, there will be something on the front cover that is unfamiliar to  the child and their curiosity will bring them to ask you about it if you give them the opportunity. This simple activity will increase your child’s vocabulary faster because the child is interacting with words that he/she is not familiar. As this occurs, the child develops word ownership which means that the child knows the word, knows the meaning, and will be able to use the word correctly in a sentence.

When progressing through the book that you are reading together, don’t simply read the story to the child. Use the story as a point of interaction. Ask open-ended questions of the child. It is not important as to whether or not the child can possibly answer the question. The point is to broaden the thinking of the child. Questions like, “What do you think will happen next?,” or “What color do you think” X “will be?”

This strategic teaching methodology can be applied to almost any activity. When cooking, the child can be asked what ingredient would go in next. With housework, you can discuss the different tools you are using. When driving, you can discuss the things you see as they pass by outside the window. Truly, the possibilities are endless. This is the opening of the child’s mind and it is a wonderful thing to behold and help make happen.


Follow me on Twitter @IamSaeval

Like me on Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Lifestyle

Welcome to SmileBait!

We're glad you're here. It is a genuine pleasure to bring this site to you so that you can laugh, so that you can smile, so that you can find the silver lining throughout your day.


Copyright © 2015 SmileBait.