A recent article in Science Daily supports the premise put forth at a recent education symposium about Black boys.  That premise is that more resources need to be used in the early years—before age 9–for Black boys.  Many young African-American boys are found to be lacking self-regulation.  Why is this important?  Research shows that young children who do not have self-regulation often have much lower academic success later in life.

So, what is self-regulation?  It’s the ability to “listen, pay attention, follow through on a task, and remember instructions.”  It is the child’s ability to self-regulate, and it’s essential for academic success.  Another article reports similar findings for at-risk students—an apt description for many of our boys.

Researchers studied several groups of pre-school children in various countries, and they found that in every country, students with stronger self-regulation had significantly better academic outcomes than those who did not.  Dubbed the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulder task from the classic Simon Says game, researchers noted that in countries already known to have stronger self-regulation than the U.S., those children ”did significantly better in math vocabulary and early literacy.”

VIDEO:  Self-Regulation and Kindergarten

It seems that other classic games that you may have played as a child can help your child with self-regulation:

  • Hide and Seek
  • Simon Says

  Simon Extreme (Electronic Version)

  • Role Playing
  • Red Light, Green Light

So, help the young children—both boys and girls—in your life to self-regulate by teaching and playing these games with them.  It’s an inexpensive, effective way to help him to perform better in school.

Educators can find more information and suggestions about self-regulation by going to our new posts for parents and educators in addition to the Educator Solutions page on the Uzima Community Blog!