Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Road to readiness

Radio Commentary

Making sure that every child comes to school ready to learn is a worthy national education goal. But we are not yet nearly to that point.

One researcher examined the steps that must be taken to make it happen. The researcher determined that the quality of the parent-child relationship is key to language development.

Children need rich verbal experiences to draw from as they enter school. Parents should talk with their children all the time and read to them as often as possible.

Parents can share stories, and ask open-ended questions to spur thinking skills. This helps get children excited about learning new things.

According to the research, there are several preconditions for learning.

Good health comes first. Then come unhurried time with family, safe and supportive environments, and special help for families in desperate need.

This sounds like commonsense, but unfortunately these items are not always in great supply.

The researcher wrote: “These principles are deceptively simple. Assuring that every child has the opportunity to learn requires collaboration among community and health care agencies, families, and schools.”

It involves institutions and neighborhoods working together to help meet basic needs.

It is a promise unfulfilled in this country at this time, but it is a worthy goal to pursue for all our children.

This is the road to readiness.