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Engaging children in math at home equals a boost in more than just math skills

Purdue – Staff Writer

“Preschool children who engage in math activities at home with their parents not only improve their math skills, but also their general vocabulary, according to research from Purdue University. “Exposure to basic numbers and math concepts at home were predictive, even more so than storybook reading or other literacy-rich interactions, of improving preschool children’s general vocabulary,” said Amy Napoli, a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies who led the study.”(more)

Encouraging risk-taking in children may reduce the prevalence of childhood anxiety

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A new international study suggests that parents who employ challenging parent behavioural (CPB) methods – active physical and verbal behaviours that encourage children to push their limits – are likely protecting their children from developing childhood anxiety disorders. Researchers from Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health, along with partners from the University of Amsterdam and the University of Reading, surveyed 312 families with preschool-aged children across the Netherlands and Australia. Results showed that the parents who scored higher in their CPB methods, thereby encouraging their kids to push their limits to a greater extent, had children who were less at risk of exhibiting anxiety disorder symptoms, demonstrating that CPB was related to significantly less anxiety in children.”(more)

Holiday Gift Guide — For Your Favorite STEM Student: 9 Fun Toys That Also Teach Science, Engineering, and Computing

The 74 Million – Tim Newcomb

“What sort of gifts do teachers wish for for their students? This holiday season, STEM is the big draw — and not just computer-science-related toys, but also simple games involving blocks that can lay the groundwork for coding skills. Here are some of the top educational gifts for the budding scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in your life, courtesy of Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit that promotes K-12 STEM education:.”(more)

Does Preschool Pay Off? Tulsa Program Demonstrates Success

KQED News Mind/Shift – Claudio Sanchez

“In 2001, not long after Oklahoma had adopted one of the nation’s first universal pre-K programs, researchers from Georgetown University began tracking kids who came out of the program in Tulsa, documenting their academic progress over time. In 2001, not long after Oklahoma had adopted one of the nation’s first universal pre-K programs, researchers from Georgetown University began tracking kids who came out of the program in Tulsa, documenting their academic progress over time. In a new report published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management today, researchers were able to show that Tulsa’s pre-K program has significant, positive effects on students’ outcomes and well-being through middle school.”(more)

Why keeping parents and kids connected in the early years is critical

E-School News – Chelsey Rodgers

“In more than 60 percent of all two-parent households, both parents work, and in nearly all of these households, at least one parent is employed. This means that the vast majority of parents in our country experience regular and prolonged periods of time away from their children. Since parental involvement is one of the most influential factors in students’ academic success, the question then becomes how to help working parents stay abreast of what their child does when they are apart.”(more)

For baby’s brain to benefit, read the right books at the right time

Medical X-Press – Lisa S. Scott

“Parents often receive books at pediatric checkups via programs like Reach Out and Read and hear from a variety of health professionals and educators that reading to their kids is critical for supporting development. The pro-reading message is getting through to parents, who recognize that it’s an important habit. A summary report by Child Trends, for instance, suggests 55 percent of three- to five-year-old children were read to every day in 2007. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 83 percent of three- to five-year-old children were read to three or more times per week by a family member in 2012.”(more)