Read Einstein Never Used Flashcards.
If your child wants to learn to read early and does so organically, I don't think there's much downside. However, if YOU want your child to learn to read early, then there can be. Preschoolers need lots of play time. They do not need to be learning phonics or sight words. There's good research to show that kids who are pushed hard academically in preschool (having to do worksheets, sit and read, etc.) end up not liking school as much as they're older (2nd-3rd grade). In addition, kids who weren't pushed as hard usually catch up by 2nd or 3rd grade. AND the kids who had a more play based preschool experience are more curious and have a greater set of experiences to apply their knowledge to.
There's a big difference between an child who is gifted and is driven to learn skills early and a child, however bright, who is pushed to them.
My daughter said she wanted to learn to read when she was 3 (because her big brother was in 1st grade and had to read out loud as homework). We got a few Bob books from the library, and she tried a few and lost interest. She expressed interest again at age 4, and started to memorize books to pretend she could read. Sometime before her 5th birthday, she could read. By the end of the summer before she started K, she was reading short chapter books. I still sent her to a largely play based kindergarten. It was hands down the best experience for her because there was so much more to the day than phonics. And she was still reading Harry Potter by the end of first grade.
My other child was not an early reader. He is a different kind of learner. For him, having the experience of a play based kindergarten was crucial for his social development and for giving him a range of experiences. He actively refused to learn to read until 1st grade. Once he started reading, he took off really quickly. At 11, he's got dynamite language skills (he's really good with puns, for example), and well above average reading skills.
Really in terms of my children, I don't see a huge advantage for the early reader vs. the averaged age reader.
Originally Posted by Jessica1501
Meemee and robidoux totally misunderstood my points.
If you say the kids can read or do math later on anyway, you're totally right.
Scientist proves that the brain will grow to about 80 percent of the adult size by the age of 3 and 90 percent by the age of 5.
Yep. So? Bigger does not mean better for human brains. Really. It's all about the connections that are formed.
Just because that's the brain grows doesn't mean that it won't grow if you didn't teach your child to read. It will grow in many areas. You know what one of the most important predictors of academic success is? Understanding the concepts. It's not early reading. It's not early math. It's being able to understand what people are talking about. Since most children are physical learners, being engaged in DOING something is much more important than learning to read. As my kids get older, the experiences we have together are leading to that understanding.
Originally Posted by Jessica1501
I don't mean reading is the only way to get this number, no way! But learning to read at this age is fun, like games (puzzles or something, at least with my kid), not like academic, so it still benefits like many other games. Also, while preschools teach reading and your kids love to learn, they naturally know how to read, why refusing?
Are you gonna switch school just because they teach reading? I believe the answer is no. I like my kid's school because of many things else, but since she can read from playing, not from studying like adults, I like that. I am just concerned about later on in K, and this is my main question. I don't want to discuss or argue about benefits of reading because everybody has different opinions. In my area, there are a lot of learning centers for preschoolers, they teach only math and reading, no way am I going to take my DD there.
Yes, I would have. Because if they're teaching reading, what other experiences is your child missing out on? Because they're missing out on something in that time that's devoted to reading in preschool. That's not time I want my children to miss.