Helping your child learn

Studies show that early exposure to books and talking about the stories at home allows kids to have a bigger vocabulary in kindergarten and first grade, and higher reading skills by third grade. But research suggests parental involvement should not end at story-time. Child Trends psychologists looked at almost 100 research studies on the impact of family involvement in education.

They found, for kids ages 3 to 8, when given direction on how to do math activities at home - that correspond with the math skills the kids are learning at school - they increased their children’s math skills more than students whose parents have had little or no support.

Researchers also say two-way communication between parents and the school is important. Attend at least one parent-teacher conference during a school year. Teachers and school staff should communicate regularly. Families with language barriers should have access to translation services.

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