...affluent children spend 1,300 more hours than low-income children before age 6 in places other than their homes, their day care centers, or schools (anywhere from museums to shopping malls). By the time high-income children start school, they have spent about 400 hours more than poor children in literacy activities.This thought remained with me this weekend while I attended the NYCAEYC early childhood conference and had the privilege to hear one of my favorite authors Ann Lewin-Benham speak. She said that we can not expect rich language if we do not provide early opportunities for rich experiences, conversation, and reflection. Her talk focused on this cycle of experience-conversation-and reflection being an important, active process that shapes young brains and thinking.
I'm trying to think about how to extend this conversation into our school community. I'm thinking of extending our current documentation panels in the hallway, which portrays the richness in language and conversation that has emerged from the animal tracking experiences to parents...finding a way to build on this important conversation.
Yes this is a bit of a rambling but one that invites you to read the excellent NYT article if you haven't already.