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Examining the effects of home literacy and numeracy environment on early reading and math acquisition

The present study examined how the home literacy and numeracy environment in kindergarten influences reading and math acquisition in grade 1. Eighty-two Greek children from mainly middle socio-economic backgrounds were followed from kindergarten to grade 1 and were assessed on measures of nonverbal intelligence, emergent literacy skills, early math concepts, verbal counting, reading, and math fluency. The parents of the children also responded to a questionnaire regarding the frequency of home literacy and numeracy activities. The results of path analyses indicated that parents' teaching of literacy skills predicted reading fluency through the effects of letter knowledge and phonological awareness. Storybook exposure predicted reading fluency through the effects of vocabulary on phonological aware-ness. Finally, parents' teaching of numeracy skills predicted math fluency through the effects of verbal counting. These findings suggest that both the home literacy and the home numeracy environments are important for early reading and math acquisition, but their effects are mediated by emergent literacy and numeracy skills. (author abstract)
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