The Research

Quality/Quantity of Verbal Interactions

“If increased opportunities for verbal interaction can strengthen critical processing skills that enable more efficient learning, then interventions aimed at increasing parents’ verbal engagement with their infants have the potential to change the course of vocabulary growth and, in turn, to improve later outcomes for disadvantaged children.” Talking to children matters: Early language experience strengthens processing and builds vocabulary.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5510534/

“Further, neuroimaging revealed a neural mechanism by which language experience may influence brain development; namely, children who experienced more conversational turns exhibited greater activation in left inferior frontal regions (Broca’s area) during language processing, which explained nearly half the relationship between children’s language exposure and verbal abilities.”

(2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29442613

Kindergarten Readiness

“By some measures, 5-year-old children of lower socioeconomic status score more than two years behind on standardized language development tests by the time they enter school.” 

3rd Grade Reading Comprehension

One in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade do not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers. For children who were poor for at least a year and were not reading proficiently in third grade, the proportion of those who don’t finish school rose to 26 percent.  The rate was highest for poor black and Hispanic students, at 31 and 33 percent respectively. Even so the majority of students who fail to graduate are white.

Double Jeopardy, Annie E. Casey Foundation https://gradelevelreading.net/uncategorized/study-links-3rd-grade-reading-poverty-and-hs-graduation

“Research in Social Stratification and Mobility (2010) also found that “children growing up in homes with many books get three years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.”

High School Graduation

“Children who were reading for pleasure at the ages of 5 and 10 were more likely to go on and score better on average on school tests later in their lives. And not just test of reading, but tests of spelling and maths as well.”

https://www.ted.com/talks/helen_pearson_lessons_from_the_longest_study_on_human_development/footnotes#t-619077

“Anatomical and physiological development from infancy into young adulthood reflects a complex cascade of cyclical progressive (additive) and regressive (subtractive) types of changes. However, the preschool years can be thought of as a developmental period generally dominated by dynamic and robust progressive processes, with an emphasis on growth, expansion, “construction”, and “blossoming” that will later be pruned and tuned with continued maturation and experience.” (2013)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3511633/ 

Adult Success

“In 2003, a higher percentage of parents with Intermediate or Proficient prose literacy than parents with Basic or Below Basic prose literacy read to their young children 5 or more days per week.A higher percentage of parents with Intermediate or Proficient prose literacy than parents with lower levels of literacy had children between the ages of 3 and 5 who knew the alphabet. A higher percentage of parents with Intermediate or Proficient prose literacy than parents with Basic or Below Basic prose literacy talked to their school-age children every day about things they studied in school.The percentage of parents who never helped their children with homework or worked on homework with their children declined with each higher prose literacy level.” (2003) https://nces.ed.gov/Pubs2007/2007480_1.pdf

Entering school ready to learn can improve one’s chances of reaching middle class status by age 40 by about 8 percentage points, according to a recent analysis that uses linked data sets to track success from birth to age 40 (Winship, Sawhill and Gold, 2011). https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0319_school_disadvantage_isaacs.pdf