It is a well-known fact that children who started reading and developing basic motor skills at an early age are considered the ones that will succeed the most later in life. Well, that belief has changed. While early development is an amazing task to achieve, it is not necessarily the only predictor of academic and lifelong success.
And what is you ask? Why the simple act of curiosity.
A study of 6,200 children over the course of their lives, from nine months old through kindergarten, was conducted at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The researchers, consisting of pediatricians with expertise in developmental behavior studies poured through the resulting data. They found, conclusively, that children who presented with a greater amount of curiosity achieved greater kindergarten reading and math academic achievements. The study also showed that neither their gender nor their socioeconomic background played in part in the results.
The researchers also added:
“Curiosity may be an important, yet under-recognized contributor to academic achievement. Fostering curiosity may optimize academic achievement at kindergarten.”
What has less to do with academic success, researchers believe, are the kid’s efforts and abilities to sit still in class. There is where the parents whose kids are always the ones running around crazy can breathe a sigh of relief and then majorly rejoice.
According to Science Daily:
“U-M researchers factored in another important known contributor to academic achievement known as ‘effortful control,’ or the ability to stay focused in class.”
It appeared that even if the children tested could not stay still, and in turn identified as curious, scored much higher in both math and reading. The research also found that even the children tested presenting with the low effortful control, will still have higher academic achievement if they have a high level of curiosity.
What this all boils down to is the next time you are telling your child something and they start on the whole “why” tirade, jump up and down and throw a party. Make sure you celebrate it for the sign of genius that is most surely is.