woman reading to sonAnother study published recently on the Science Daily website points to effective parenting as a significant factor in the success of African-American boys as they transition from preschool to kindergarten. Iheoma Iruka, lead researcher from The Frank Porter Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina acknowledged, “Transitions may be even more arduous for African American boys, given the many challenges they are likely to face compared to their peers.”

Research shows that African-American boys enter kindergarten prepared to learn. Iruka points out, “In the early years, African American children, including boys, produce narratives of higher quality and have greater narrative comprehension than their peers — and, once we account for family income, African American boys outperform other boys.”

Iruka and her peers found four patterns for African-American boys after their transition to kindergarten. The boys in the study…

  • showed increases in language, reading, and math scores in kindergarten (51%)
  • declined even further academically after transition (19%)
  • declined in kindergarten both academically and behaviorally (11%)
  • remained on their high-performing academic and social paths after the transition (20%)

The researchers found that effective parenting impacted the group classification above in which a boy fell. The boys who declined in performance tended to come from homes where the parents were “inattentive.” Not only did the boys from detached parents decline academically, they also tended to be more aggressive. Effective parents, on the other hand, tended to engage their boys in literacy activities and intentional teaching. They did things like “playing games and taking the child on errands.”

Establishing school-to-home partnerships are crucial to your son’s success in kindergarten.