Jung, E. (2016) The Development of Reading Skills in Kindergarten Influence of Parental Beliefs About School Readiness, Family Activities, and Children’s Attitudes to School. International Journal of Early Childhood, 48(1), 61-78.
Children’s early home learning experiences are important influences on children’s adjustment and achievement in the early years of school. This study explores the relationships between parental beliefs about school readiness, family engagement in home learning activities, on children’s attitudes to school as reported by parents, and children’s reading achievement in kindergarten. The analyses draw on data from 3309 children who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of Kindergartners. The analyses use structural equation modeling to test the influence of parent and family influences, including sociodemographic variables on children’s attitudes to school and children’s reading achievement in the kindergarten year. Analyses revealed that parents’ readiness beliefs and family activities were significantly related to children’s reading skills. Family activities were related to children’s attitudes about school, but these attitudes were not related to the development of reading skills. The findings suggest that higher engagement in shared parent–child activities may be an important focus in intentional efforts aimed at enhancing early reading achievement. Early childhood educators and other family practitioners can encourage parents to participate in home activities with their children because these activities encourage language interactions which are important to the development of children’s literacy.