Tag Archives: Child Development

Study: If You Want Math and Reading Success, Teach Planning Skills

Study: If You Want Math and Reading Success, Teach Planning Skills

Remember the Tower of Hanoi — that game with discs and pegs? Well it requires planning, specifically the ability to see that you have to move away from your goal so that you can eventually move toward it. A study in the journal Child Development shows that kids’ Tower of Hanoi ability is a better predictor of math and reading success than socioeconomic status or anything else. And that training this important skill of planning may help disadvantaged kids catch up. Read More

Study: Quality and Not Quantity of Parents’ Words Teaches Vocabulary

Study: Quality and Not Quantity of Parents’ Words Teaches Vocabulary

The number of words a child knows when he or she enters kindergarten is an astoundingly good predictor of how well they’ll do in school and even how they will much later do in the workplace. A study from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that it’s quality and not quantity of speech that teaches vocabulary. If your speech matches your actions and the surrounding context, kids learn your words — if not, it’s just talk. Read More

Easter Bunny Science: Studies Show How Kids Sort Fantasy From Reality

Easter Bunny Science: Studies Show How Kids Sort Fantasy From Reality

Contrary to popular misconception, kids start as skeptics, then parents and culture trick kids into belief, and then canny kids find disbelief. But what of the kids who continue to believe in dragons into the middle grades? Are these fantasy kids slow? Are they dumb? Studies suggest the opposite: it takes a nimble mind to buffer belief from the whisperings of reality and the evidence of doubters. Read More