• Mai Duc Nguyen

IELTS Reading Revision - Kids Better Off at Nursery than Staying Home



Passage:

Kids better off at nursery rather than staying at home with mum, say researchers


Parents unable to give up work to look after their children can breathe a sigh of relief.

Sending youngsters to nursery is likely to be better for them than being at home, because it helps them to develop social and everyday skills, a new report has found.


In contrast the children of stay-at-home mums fare less well, having poorer speech and movement, according to research from the London School of Economics and Oxford University.


Dr Laurence Roope, of the Health Economics Research Centre at Oxford, said: "It should give parents some reassurance that nurseries are not going to harm their children, and are likely to be beneficial.


"It seems that what is important is engaging in interactive activities with the child.


"Obviously there are different ways of interpreting the results. It could be there is a trade-off. On the one hand, going out to work brings in more money for the family, which leads to more financial security and the ability to partake in more activities.


"But on the other hand it might mean that the bond between parent and child is not as great, particularly if the parent is coming in tired or stressed. But overall it seems nursery has a significant impact on development."


The researchers said the benefit of nursery appeared to increase as children spent more time there.


"We're not saying that they should be spending 24 hours a day there, but it does seem spending more time there had significant benefits," added Dr Roope.


The study was based on answers from the German Socio-Economic Panel which surveyed more than 800 mothers and quizzed them about their financial status, education and the progress of their children when they were aged two and three.


Questions such "Can your child cut pieces of paper with scissors?" or "Can your child speak in two-word sentences?" were used to gauge how well youngsters were developing.


Singing children’s songs and painting and doing arts and crafts were found to have a positive impact on dexterity, which researchers linked to the actions associated with songs and the hand skills needed for arts and crafts.


Reading or telling stories, singing children’s songs and visiting other families were unsurprisingly also both found to have a positive impact on talking capabilities.


Prof Paul Anand, an author of the report, said: “[This is] one of first economic studies to look at the behaviour of very young children and it comes out with positive messages about activity involvement with parents, and shows that different activities promote different skills.


“The results point to the potential value of thinking not just in terms of a general home learning environment but also about the specific kinds of activities that parents are carers need to engage in, if they want to promote the acquisition of particular skills."


The researchers said children were often exposed to more stimulating activities at nursery, as well as interacting with new children and adults, which helped their development.


However Laura Perrins, co-editor of The Conservative Woman website and advocate for stay-at-home mothers, said the report made it seem that mothers could not be trusted with their children.


She said: "Gosh what an amazing study. No doubt if I dig a little deeper I would find a very select group of children chosen.


"One wonders how so much human progress has been made so far without children being in nursery. Although I note little is said about emotional development.


"Obviously now the most important thing now is for government to make nursery care not only favourable but compulsory. The truth is mothers cannot be trusted with their kids!" The study also found that spending more time with grandparents boosted talking and social skills and having a mother with more years of education also improved early development.


However taking children for a walk outdoors appeared to actually harm development. The researchers believe that although fresh air is good for children, being strapped in a buggy for long periods could hamper the development of movement.


The researchers also examined the effect of certain activities on young children and found that reading and shopping made them happiest.


Children with more siblings also had better skills in all areas, suggesting that they are learning from older siblings, despite having less time interacting with a parent.


The research was published in the journal Social Choice and Welfare.


Source: The Telegraph



Questions 1-6:


Choose one correct answer only for each question.


1. What makes nursery a possibly better choice for parents to raise their kids than home-schooling?


a. Social and everyday skills that children can develop

b. Speech and movement skills that children can develop

c. Reassurance from the government concerning the quality of nurseries

d. Well-qualified teachers and staff


2. What is a benefit of working and sending kids to nursery for parents?


a. Parents can increase their family’s economic strength

b. The relationship between parents and their children is greater

c. Parents will be less tired and stressed

d. Parents can still engage in interactive activities with their children in their free time


3. One of the ways that parents can adopt to improve their children’s development is to:


a. Cut pieces of paper with scissors

b. Sing adult’s songs

c. Visit tourist attractions

d. Produce things like arts and crafts


4. What do the results of the new report remind parents to think about?


a. Creating a friendly and flexible home learning environment

b. Participating in certain types of activities with their children

c. Enabling their kids to interact with new children and adults

d. Acquiring certain skills of how to become good parents


5. Why does Laura Perrins find the results of study reported by Paul Anand unreliable?


a. She is an advocate for stay-at-home mothers

b. Only certain groups of children are chosen for the study

c. No opinions from the government are stated

d. The results seem to underestimate the role of mothers in raising their kids


6. Which activity listed below is believed to be beneficial for children’s development?

a. Spending more time with grandparents and elderly people

b. Taking children for a walk outdoors

c. Having and learning from sisters and brothers

d. Reading and shopping during holiday times



Please find the answers here.



How many correct answers, out of 6, did you get? Please share your result with us and our readers by commenting below.



What are the differences between homeschooling and traditional schools? Which better suits students? Watch this video from The Infographics Show to learn more.





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