Friday, January 15, 2010
Do you read me?
I have always felt like ages 4-6 is a natural time for children to learn how to read, but lately there has been some buzz about teaching children to read earlier. There are even programs being sold by infomercials to teach your baby to read. From the infomercials I have watched, this program proposes that the earlier you introduce reading, the sooner and the easier it is for the brain to make pathways and connections for reading.
To off set that, my sister-in-law who is an orthodox Waldorf educator has introduced me to a school of thought focused on NOT encouraging children to read until 6 or 7. She says that teaching children to read at an earlier age can compromise physical and organ development.
I have a 16 month and like I mentioned before, an almost five year old. I wonder...should I really be teaching my baby to read or not encouraging my older son to read?
I have no special degree in education or child development, so up to this point I have just stuck with what I know. I have tended to lean toward the middle road between the parties. My theory is to read to my children and let them tell me when they are ready to read. I have a friend who was teaching her 4/5 year old to read and while doing so, her 3 year old picked it up too. She wasn't drilled, especially prepped...she was ready. I believe reading should be fun and not forced or discouraged. But...what do you think?
I would like to open this up to discussion.
Please let me know if you have used the Your Baby Can Read program? Did you like it? Why?
Do you delay reading in favor of physical development? Why?
What are you thoughts on reading and teaching reading?
What methods have you used to teach reading?
Do you have special ways to teach reading to a child who may not naturally like it? Have you had a child like that?
Thanks for your input!