Every child deserves a good education. But the fact is that children from low-income families are often behind children from more affluent families by the time they start school. Research has shown several reasons for this which are based on language skills.
- Children from affluent families have 215,000 words of language experience per week, compared to 125,000 in a working-class family and 62,000 in a welfare family
- Children from affluent families receive far more positive language than children from poor families. The rate, in terms of positive-to-negative is 6:1 for children in a professional family, 2:1 in a working family, and 1:2 in a welfare family.
Parents may not be able to change their economic situation, but they can change the outcome of their child's ability to receive education equal to other children by making some important changes in the family environment.
Here are 4 easy ways:
#1 - Take time to speak and listen to your children every day.
#2 - Spend more time with your children in activities and in reading to them.
#3 - Consider enrolling your children in an Early Head Start Program for children 3 and younger. The Birth to Three Program is a five-week, virtual program that is absolutely free. Head Start is also available to pre-school age children.
#4- Pay attention to your child's vocabulary and teach them new words.
President Obama has included in the 2014 fiscal budget programs that will increase educational opportunities for pre-school children from families that are at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.