What is the deal with people jabbering about ‘early literacy’? We know a parent of a two year old talking about this great new preschool the child is in which teaches the kids to read at age TWO. Huh? Now, I have a two year old who recognizes quite a few letters and writes a couple of them (because she’s interested and learned it on her own, not because anyone ever taught her), but c’mon; does she really need to read at this age? Naturally, I wouldn’t stop her if she wanted to learn how to read, but pushing reading on young children is ridiculous. Sadly, corporations are making a fortune on this.
I call bullshit on ‘early literacy’. I think it’s playing in to parents’ fears and getting them to think competitively rather than cooperatively. But worst of all, I think it’s wasting kids’ time. They should be playing make-believe and running wild and laughing joyfully. They have the entire rest of their lives to read, and this is their opportunity to live in the moment and embrace new challenges (such as reading) when they are developmentally ready. Here is one research study published in Science Direct which proves that children learning to read earlier (5) were not at any disadvantage to those learning to read later (7). In fact, by age 10, they were all at the same level and by age eleven the later readers had better comprehension of what they were reading.
See also: Playing to Learn