Rather than learning their letters, colors, numbers and shapes by the time they are three, it is likely that the best predictor of children’s academic success is helping kids succeed with self regulation. Children who persist at challenging tasks and plan ahead, pay attention, and remember and follow instructions were found to be essential in a new Mind in the Making project.
Research shows that preschool kids can have fun building their self regulation skills, learning rules and changing strategies through games. For example, in a game where researchers reversed the rules, red meant go and green meant stop. Children had to stop and regulate themselves to accommodate the change. Such intervention can produce gains in areas such as math achievement, with the most disadvantaged kids making the biggest gains according to research published in the Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
Researchers found that kids made gains in math and other areas, and that there were significant gains made among Headstart preschoolers.