The founder and director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative, Professor Dana Suskind, explains why the most important - and astoundingly simple - thing you can do for your child's future success in life is to talk to him or her, reveals the recent science behind this truth, and outlines precisely how parents can best put it into practice.
The research is in: Academic achievement begins on the first day of life with the first word said by a cooing mother just after delivery.
A study by researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley in 1995 found that some children heard 30 million fewer words by their fourth birthdays than others. The children who heard more words were better prepared when they entered school. These same kids, when followed into third grade, had bigger vocabularies, were stronger readers, and got higher test scores. This disparity in learning is referred to as the achievement gap.
Professor Dana Suskind, MD, learned of this 30-million word gap in the course of her work as a cochlear implant surgeon at University of Chicago Medical School and began a new research program along with her sister-in-law, Beth Suskind, to find the best ways to bridge that gap. The Thirty Million Word Initiative has developed programs for parents to show the kind of parent-child communication that enables optimal neural development and has tested the programs in and around Chicago across demographic groups. They boil down to getting parents to follow the three Ts:
Tune in to what your child is doing
Talk more to your child using lots of descriptive words
Take turns with your child as you engage in conversation.
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Starts Interesting, gets Repetitive, Then Preachy
Maybe, but I'd read more reviews before I tried
no, it covered the subject well, then got too repetitive
I bought this book to learn more about what I could be doing to help my children grow mentally, and there are some good thoughts. Good thing I'd been doing some of the 'right' things, as they are older than three now, but I can still apply the lessons. This book definitely started out interesting and I definitely learned a few things.
About half way through it starts to get a little repetitive, then gets preachy with the 'call to action' stuff... I could have stopped about 2/3 of the way through and gotten all I needed out of it. But I'm glad I finished it.
- B. Webb
Good but too long for content
- Jesusa H. Chua