Researchers, policy makers, early childhood teachers and parents believe that early education can provide young children with the skills they need to be ready for kindergarten and to succeed later in school. This research summary reviews recent expert findings from the field of early childhood education regarding the types of skills that significantly impact a child’s school–or kindergarten–readiness, plus it investigates research-based best practices and explains how Really Good Stuff® original school-readiness products support research-based instruction. In particular, this paper focuses on the importance and impact of developing (1) math, (2) literacy, and (3) fine motor skills as a predictor for later kindergarten and school success.
Would you like to receive Really Good Stuff® Early Childhood emails? Sign Up Today!
While the emphasis on reading proficiency [and literacy skills] is critical, research shows that the development of mathematics skills early on may be an even greater predictor of later school success. Early knowledge of math not only predicts later success in math, but also predicts later reading achievement even better than early reading skills (ECS, 2013). In a study appropriately titled “What specific preschool math skills predict later math achievement?” (Nguyen et al., 2015) researchers analyzed previously collected data that measured the impact of early mathematics intervention on a sample of 1,375 preschool children. The results indicated that counting and cardinality are by far the strongest predictors of later math achievement, followed by operations and algebraic thinking, geometry, and measurement and data skills. A 2010 study by Grissmer et. al. found that fine motor skills were a strong predictor of a child’s later math, reading, and science achievement. The results of this research underscore the role of fine motor skill development in school or kindergarten readiness (NCRECE, 2010).