According to the research conducted by Children Trends, Hispanic children “are least likely to be academically ready for kindergarten”. Though the study includes many more facts and statistics, this particular one caught my attention because it provides parents with a tool that pinpoints what they must work on with their kids. Tables indicate how Hispanic children compare to non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks with regards to recognizing letters, counting to 20, writing their first name, holding a pencil with their fingers, and reading written words in books.
Though these findings put much responsibility on parents, I think the study also helps them cope with the doubts associated with educating their children. By focusing on these specific measures, parents can significantly ease their children’s transition into first grade. In doing so, they will have the certainty that what they do can be quantified, and so feel assured that their educating efforts are on the right track.
Perhaps the biggest challenge left for parents is finding the time to work on these tasks. Although I don’t have children, I imagine the best solution would be to allot equal amounts of time each day to the specific tasks. And if a child excels in one or more of them, then parents should focus on the ones that their child needs more help with.
Moreover, it is interesting to see that only three percent of Hispanic children read written words in books, compared to the eight percent of non-Hispanic white and 16 percent of non-Hispanic black children, by the time they enter first grade. Perhaps parents should focus more time on teaching their kids how to read, and thereby help them be well prepared.