Adding a self-regulation intervention to a school readiness programme can improve self-regulation, early academic skills and school readiness in children at higher risk for later school difficulties, according to the results of a study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
Robert J Duncan and colleagues looked at the effect of adding a self-regulation intervention to the Bridge to Kindergarten (B2K) programme – a three-week summer school-readiness programme – in the US state of Oregon. The B2K programme is aimed at children with no prior preschool experience, and therefore considered to be at risk for later school difficulties.
Children from three to five years old were randomly assigned to either a control group (B2K only) or the intervention group (B2K plus intervention). Children in the intervention group received two 20- to 30-minute sessions per week, involving movement and music-based games that encouraged them to practise self-regulation skills.
Results from this randomised controlled trial indicated that
- Children who received the intervention scored higher on measures of self-regulation than children who participated in the B2K programme alone.
- There were no significant effects on maths or literacy at the end of the programme.
- However, four months into kindergarten, children from the intervention group showed increased growth in self-regulation, maths and literacy compared to expected development.
The study concluded that policies and programs aimed at children without schooling experience before attending kindergarten might reduce the school readiness gaps and improve their achievement.
Duncan, R. J., Schmitt, S. A., Burke, M., & McClelland, M. M. (2018). Combining a kindergarten readiness summer program with a self-regulation intervention improves school readiness. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42, 291–300.