What is the best age to start teaching a child to read?
In today’s world, it is generally believed that early development of a child is prestigious, so some parents think that it is necessary to start as early as possible. However, the child’s psyche is not designed for this as it is evidenced by the conclusions of many psychologists. It is important to remember that natural development of each child cannot be accelerated or stopped – it occurs on the genetic level.
Let’s consider some pros and cons of early learning to understand whether it is necessary to teach a child to read from an early age or whether it is worth waiting.
Early development does have several advantages
- Constant communication with the baby. Despite the complexity of the tasks that a kid faces, he/she spends time with parents – it has a positive impact on his psychological state.
- The opportunity to learn new information. The child discovers a lot of new and interesting things while reading. Certainly, he/she can learn some facts also without sitting the whole day behind books, but use of the developing literature will make the training process fascinating as much as possible.
- Brain development. When a child starts to learn new information, there is brain training without much tension for him/her – it will help the child to remember and to assimilate what he/she has read more quickly.
- Gaining useful skills. If you begin to teach your child to read at an early age, you can train his/her thinking, develop logic – it helps them to acquire important new skills and to create a so-called «foundation» for learning new information.
- Improvement of self-esteem. Praise works for adults and children. The child will definitely feel the pride of Mom and Dad and it will push him/her to new victories.
However, the early development of children has some drawbacks
- Parents are too fond of the early development of their children. This process can become a way of self-realization when each parent tries to prove that his/her child is the smartest.
- It takes a lot of energy and time. Moms and dads forget to devote time to themselves during the lessons. In addition, the child also needs free time to relax and to play.
- The interests of the child are relegated to the background. Early preschool development involves the use of a game method for teaching kids. At this age, children prefer to watch cartoons, play with their peers, or with pets rather than constantly sitting behind the books. Therefore, the learning process should take place if it takes the form of a fascinating game.
When it is better to learn how to read?
It is important to look at the physiological features of the baby:
- The speech of the child must be taken into account before starting education. He or she should not just speak words, but also should be confident in speaking with simple sentences and should understand their meaning.
- The child should emphasize the general sounds in several words; if parents note that a kid’s phonemic hearing is well developed – all this indicates that it is time to start the reading process.
- Your baby should be free of all speech problems during the conversation. If a child cannot speak one or more letters out of the alphabet, this has a negative impact on his/her phonemic hearing.
- The child should have well-developed spatial thinking, and should understand where there is «right» or «left». After all, the process of reading a book is from left to right. Otherwise, the child starts reading text blocks chaotically.
The manifestation of the above features is formed closer to the age of 5 years. But do not forget that each baby – it’s a personality with his/her own singularities and everything is very individual.