Foundations for future learning are laid in the earliest years of a child’s life. Research shows that, while mutable, the course of school achievement — or lack of it — is often set before children reach the kindergarten door. This understanding
has led to education policies that stress the importance of supporting reading skills in the preschool years because lack of reading readiness is linked to lower school achievement and school difficulties such as grade retention and dropout. Strong emphasis has been put on making certain that all children are proficient readers by third grade. Recent research shows, however, that early mathematics skills and general knowledge in science and social studies might be even more important for school achievement, not just in math and science but in reading as well. Knowledge of the natural and social worlds seems to be more predictive of reading achievement than are early reading skills.
Source: Education Commission of the States
Available at: http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/01/12/88/11288.pdf