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Old 11-12-2011, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Jersey
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In another forum it was brought up about teaching a child to read. He is 4 and the consensus is that he is too young and should just let the school teach him when he gets to K. One person said that learning to read early has no value. How could reading ever have no value? How old were you when you learned to read? Or taught your children?
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:16 PM
 
12,887 posts, read 15,421,155 times
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I absolutely don't agree that a four year old is too young to learn to read...especially if he/she shows an interest in learning, and really wants to....I seriously wouldn't trust "the school" to teach this, especially in kindergarten,...and if you can give your child a headstart beforehand, more power to you....and the child....Some children really DO learn to read a a very young age....and some take a little longer...it really depends on the child......Anyone who says that learning to read early has no value....is a fool.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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I read before I started school. What would possibly be the downside?
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
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There is no added value to learning to read early. The advice I gave in that thread was just to continue to read to him and let nature take it's course. There's really no reason to "teach" reading at the ripe old age of 4. Seriously, all that's going to happen is he's going to wait for his peers to catch up when school starts.

For most kids, just reading to them is enough to get them reading when they are ready. If you have to "teach" reading at 4, he's not ready. Just keep reading to him. Seriously, by the end of 3rd grade no one can tell who started reading at 3 and who started at 7. It just doesn't matter and four year olds really don't need formal teaching. Learning should be play at this age. Let him pretend read to you. Let him memorize books on his own. Let him parrot them back to you. Eventually, it will click.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
I read before I started school. What would possibly be the downside?
The downside I saw was kids who were bored while the other kids were catching up. My kids weren't among the early readers but I watched friends go through this. Eventually, the other kids caught up but, by then, the kids who read early, for whom everything came easily in school because they had already been taught everything before starting school, expected everything to come easily and their parents were mad at the school for not keeping their child ahead of the curve. Some of these kids are in high school now and still struggling with study skills. They learned early that they didn't learn at school but rather already knew what they were being taught at school. It came as a shock when they had to actually learn it.


I've also seen kids who were "taught" to read early end up disliking reading. IMO, it's better to just let it be about being read to and enjoying the stories. Eventually, kids want to learn to read and when they are ready, they will.

I'm not a fan of "teaching" reading early because there is no advantage in doing so and who knows what the brain would have done if it hadn't been tied up learning to read. My gifted child read very late (6 1/2). Her doctor theorizes that her brain was just busy with other things. It got around to it when it was good and ready. Reading is developmental like walking or talking. There is a range of ages that are normal for learning to read (and 6 1/2 is within the normal range). You wouldn't push a child to walk early or talk early so why push them to read early?
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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I've never heard of the advice of leaving education up to teachers, and letting kids "catch up", I of course am aware of parents doing this, but thought it was out of not having the means, not a "choice". I, personally, have never sent a child to K without already reading. I would certainly not just rely on a teacher, and would never be ok to have my child "catch up".
But yes, I am also a parent that has to push the school to provide an appropriate education when my children are above grade level..... it is a consequence I will gladly deal with.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:50 PM
 
12,617 posts, read 28,091,807 times
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I think it's perfectly natural to teach a child his letters along with reading books, just as you teach them their colors, body parts, getting dressed, etc. There is no reason to make it serious business though. It should be a fun activity.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 34,148,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
There is no added value to learning to read early. The advice I gave in that thread was just to continue to read to him and let nature take it's course. There's really no reason to "teach" reading at the ripe old age of 4. Seriously, all that's going to happen is he's going to wait for his peers to catch up when school starts.
To borrow an old saying; Hogwash!

I am one of those kids who learned to read early. I cannot remember NOT knowing how to read. Mom and Dad have said I was reading around 3 1/2, so I'll have to take their word for it. I do know that when I started school I was amazed that EVERYBODY didn't know how to read already, I couldn't imagine NOT reading what I wanted when I wanted to. Wait for everybody to catch up? Why? Really, why would a kid do that if they love to read and can do so already? I didn't wait for anybody to catch up and neither did any of my friends who could also read. As for being bored with the others trying to learn, couldn't be the furthest from the truth for me. I personally thought it was great that I could buzz through the regular lessons in nothing flat and get on to reading what I wanted to for fun. The friends and classmates who could also read brought books to read from home all the time, same as I did. None of us were bored or waited for others to catch up.

Quote:
Seriously, by the end of 3rd grade no one can tell who started reading at 3 and who started at 7.
As a person who works with this age group, most of the time you sure CAN tell who was reading early. Even looking at my 8th grader and his friends, I know who was reading early. They early readers are the ones who are reading the "AR" books (that are required from everybody in the school) at a much higher level than those who were later readers for the most part. Sure there are some exceptions, but that is what they are... exceptions, and not the norm. The early readers are reading books that are in the mid-high school level, where the later readers are reading books either at or slightly below grade level.

ALL of them, myself, and my friends who were early readers still had fun. We knew how to play and be kids. My kids know how to have fun and have a good time while being silly and acting their age. The difference is that they ALL read well above their grade level because they wanted to learn how to read before they started school. They saw me reading books, my wife reading books and the younger ones saw their older sibling reading books... so they wanted to learn to read for themselves. We have bookcases full and overflowing with books around the house.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:08 PM
 
2,206 posts, read 3,952,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave5150 View Post
In another forum it was brought up about teaching a child to read. He is 4 and the consensus is that he is too young and should just let the school teach him when he gets to K. One person said that learning to read early has no value. How could reading ever have no value? How old were you when you learned to read? Or taught your children?
Most of the people who are arguing against it are intellectually mediocre and do not understand what its like to be really hungry for knowledge.

I learned to read when I was 4 and was reading at a 12th grade level by the 4th grade. I have read about 5 books a week since I was 4. When I got to HS I maxed out the ACT and nearly so on the SAT. School was a complete waste of my time until college.

My son is 3 and he can read. We work with him to the extent that we read to him for 15 min at night and has really taken to it. He was just assessed for all his school skills at a 3rd grade level. We are fortunate to have found a school that will allow him to work with his mental peers.

I think its interesting that talented kids in sports move on to elite teams pretty quickly, yet fast learners are deliberately held back from being who they are. Some people are very good at intellectual activities. And they enjoy doing it.

Personally, I think holding back fast learners is mild child abuse. There is a lot of evidence that it is very damaging to them for social, emotional, and educational reasons. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about what bright kids need.

Here is what these kids are capable of if done right.

Suncoast's super student, 15, already heading to MIT

You can read this to see where your child fits.

NAGC - The National Association for Gifted Children - Parents / Carers

This is an excellent book.

Amazon.com: 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (9780910707985): Deborah Ruf, Ph.D.: Books

More here.

Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA)

If you think your child is a level 3 or higher, then I would get him assessed and begin planning an educational alternative now. Most public schools are not going to do even a passable job of educating your child properly.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:08 PM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 23,895,889 times
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It shouldn't be formal. You can't do phonetics and phonemes. You read along with the kid (isn't it still done with kids as young as 6 months?) and point out pictures, words and what nots. The kids begins to enjoy the time reading (hopefully) and begins to pick it up.

By the time I was in 3rd grade I was reading at a 5th grade level and EVERYONE could tell. The opposite in those in high school who did not start reading at 3 or 4 years of age and were reading at a 3rd grade level and EVERYONE could tell...
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