|How cute is this picture! I love that I caught it last November.|
Beginning in 1983, 42 families with infants had monthly visits from researchers who recorded everything that happened in the house. This went on for three years. Then, the researchers spent almost ten years transcribing and analyzing the information. They wanted to see why children--even as young as four years old--from wealthier families did better in school than children from poorer families. They found several interesting things. Here is where reading and talking come in.
The average child in their study in an upper socio-economic class family heard about 2,000 words an hour. The average child in a welfare family heard about 600 words an hour. By the time the kiddos are four, that translates to about 45 million words total for the wealthier kid and 13 million words total for the poorer kid. The crazy thing is that those vocabulary levels of the four-year-old could be used as indicators of how well the kids would do later in school. The study did not track any kids after about 3rd grade.
So, read to your babies! Talk to your kiddos! Read them your blogs! Tell them how you're wearing your favorite perfume and why you brush your hair in the morning! They'll thank you for it someday!
PS. Do you wonder how much you talk? I did. This entire post has 305 words (including the PS, but not the title or caption!). So, you can read your babies this post seven times an hour to get 2135 words hourly! Haha. Also, if you want more information, check out this NPR article on the study: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/10/132740565/closing-the-achievement-gap-with-baby-talk.