52% is no way 'MOST' children. If you had 100 people in a room and 52 raised their hands you wouldn't call that most people would you? Half is much less dramatic isn't it?
Can I raise the issue of parental lack of skills again? This kind of research is just another guilt trip for middle class educated parents who already have so much to feel guilty about. What is needed is more acceptance and non-judgemental help for those who want to be able to read comfortably and can't. Where is the encouragement for story telling? The focus is always on books and lots of people perceive that books are expensive or that you have to be special to go into a library.
School is not the answer either. The things that support reading are things that happen at home and within our communities. If you look around our towns and cities you see more people texting, gaming or talking on mobile phones that you do reading newspapers or books or even talking to other people. People are driving cars and not reading as well.
I don't know if this is so in the US but over here audio books are very popular and lots of children we know (admittedly home schoolers) listen to books that they wouldn't be able to read themselves for stamina or vocab reasons or just because they want to play with lego while they listen.
Literacy is much more than just reading as other posters have said and if we get hung up on the developmental skill for decoding words then I think we miss a whole lot of the picture.
If it looks like I'm trying to pick a fight... I'm not, I'm rarely that obvious.
My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy
I can agree to disagree though, because we could probably just keep going back and forth about how wrong this is and not get anywhere. I agree on some points, but not others. I would be really sad if they stopped providing information on the benefits of things to parents, because some of us like that information. I understand some don't. or some are negatively effected. What about the parents and children who are positively effected by it though? I vote for a middle ground - where the information can be presented and not stigmas or pressure attached. I doubt that will happen, since people want to sell things and make money - but this is life, unfortunately. I think what parents need more is support, not reading material. Some parents are confident though, and aren't adversely effected to hear about the benefits of doing some things, and are comfortable in choosing to do some of those things but not others. I am not willing to sacarafice my right to knowledge just because someone else is going to be hard on themselves. I wish they wouldnt be - but like I said what those parents need is support, not less information.
I did read some posts about reading logs and as much as my dd and I like to read I CAN'T STAND reading logs.
I love to read, my kids love to read, and it's a rare day when I don't read to at least one child.... but then I have four so I can see how smaller families could easily not read daily, and I don't think that's a negative thing.
All that said, I am all of a sudden annoyed by DS's reading log for kindergarten. We totally forgot this last week to list any books and I got a note from the teacher saying we needed to be reading every day, and writing down the titles. It just made me hate listing all the books we read this weekend, because I know we read daily, and felt defensive that the teacher seemed to be implying that we didn't read for a whole week and (maybe) that the reason I do read to my son is because it's part of his homework. huh?
I do agree that 52% is MOST, because it is more. Whether or not that is an accurate account, who knows.
I said earlier that *I* first mis-interpretted the title of this thread as to mean that most children are not read to on a regular basis, which is not what the claim is. THAT would make me sad, skipping days here and there, is not a big deal. And I get that other's weren't read to as children and now love books or what-have-you so it's clearly not the only influence. I also agree that what is most important is that your children see YOU reading for enjoyment. DH rarely does this and I think the fact that my kids know how much I get out of reading, helps keep their interest in books alive.
Schools could do more to encourage reading. There seems to be a trivialized/hollow encouragement of reading - just like the statement at the start of the thread provides an over-simplified "tick box" to good parenting. One previous poster mentioned outright discouragement of reading by teacher as it related to recess. But beyond this, many teachers discourage kids from reading materials they do not feel are "worthy" (magazines, comic books, etc.). Despite calls for differentiated instruction, a lot of what my daughter reads in school is banal and boring compared to what she chooses at home.
I'm so glad I already loved to read before we started doing regular reading in school. In all of school, I think we read one book that I really enjoyed, and maybe two or three short stories. The rest of it was just soooo boring. A lot of it was also kind of creepy. DS1 read The Veldt (think it's by Ray Bradbury, but maybe not) last year, and I vaguely remember reading it in school, as well. I don't like the way it's written and it's really unpleasant. IMO, it's not a piece of writing that's calculated to foster interest in reading.
I was also a major comic book junkie when I was younger (I still have about a thousand of them around here). I got negative comments on that, but those comics also provided me with the vocabulary that enabled me to beat my teacher in a spelling bee in seventh grade. If they (schools, for example) want people to love to read, maybe letting them read what they love would be a good place to start?
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
I think they are saying the window for when it is easiest to learn naturally STARTS to close at age 4.
I did a little googling about teaching babies to read, and I think I understand better what "window" you are talking about. This is comparable to EC (elimination communication) in my mind. There is a window when the child is passively learning, and EC or introducing words are mostly in the parent's control. That window closes early, yes.
But, after that window closes, another opens. For most dc, between the age of 2-3 (for potty learning) or 4-7 (for reading) there is another window where they understand what they are learning, are independently motivated, and it just "clicks". This second window is when their brains are primed to learn the skill, and it can happen with extremely little effort. The reading and potty learning may happen later than in the baby-learning version, but the process may happen in a much shorter time period (go from sounding out words to reading chapter books in a couple months, or go from 100% diapers to 100% potty in one day, for example).
Whether one method or the other is easier is subjective, imo. For me, it is easier to wait until the dc is ready to take on these skills on their own, and it happens with very little effort for child or parent. For others, it is easier to consciously work on these skills when the dc are babies so that it just becomes a way of life.
Some may see this as pushing a child, but if the baby likes it I don't see it that way. The age of potty training gets later and later. Admittedly, my eldest are 3 1/2 and 2 and neither are potty trained. I feel like I missed my window with DD at 15m-18m. she was soooo ready then and sometimes going independently. But I was pregnant and decided to put it off. now she seems unconcerned with the concept. not unwilling, but her interest in it is lost.
I dont think its really a matter of which is easier, but when its easiest to learn naturally. and the benefits are undeniable. not that a child wont be successful without learning things like using a potty, reading, or second languages early in life, but that learning them early in life is more natural to them, and does have great benefit.
The way a child learns to read, or use a potty, or learn a language, is very different in baby.toddler years then in child.adult years. I think thats where they come up with the term naturally. its not really something they have to be "taught" so much as it is something they "figure out". The understanding of these things is on a much more basic level. I think if done correctly, these things would be less stressful to a child.
My standpoint is, I don't think the information is wrong, I don't think they are saying the wondow closes at 4, I think they are saying the window for when it is easiest to learn naturally STARTS to close at age 4. Not that its not easy to learn at other ages,, or that it wont happen at other ages, or that its an indicator of having a baby genious, or anything like that.
5-6-7 is more likely to be the optimal 'window', based on the necessary language skills (solid oral language skills, a vocab of 5000-6000 words, metalinguistic skills to be able to recognize parts of words, patterns in words, and enough attention to be able to take it all in).
The next leap is about 3rd- 4th grade where school become less about reading to gain fluency and more about reading to get content. This isn't so much a window of opportunity as it is a need to be able to keep up with the increasing language demands, the increasing complexity of text, and a variety of genres.
OK, back to your regularly scheduled debate....
up to age 4 is a window for natural learning - not just reading. This is not the same as school taught learning, or adult led learning. this is when "submersion" learning works very naturally and easily.
I wonder if you are familiar with unschooling?
My dd was unschooling when she learned to read. A lot of the language you are using to describe teaching infants to read applies well to an unschooler learning to read: submersion, not "taught" but "figuring it out", and definitely not adult led learning (child led), learning naturally and easily. It really isn't difficult for most kids to learn to read. In fact, on of the studies you linked says essentially that (attributes problems learning to read to home environment or dyslexia).
sunnmama you are a pleasure to have discussions with
Unschooling would differ a bit, but would not differ in the fun, relaxed, natural learning style. Look into it, for sure. Unschooling, at core, involves trust in a child's natural curiosity and ability to learn. An unschooling family will typically enjoy books with their dc and be available to help the child learn to read (if necessary) as the child guides. Typically, unschooled children will learn to read as naturally as they learned to walk and talk, but between the ages of 4-9 or so. From an unschooling perspective, it seems very unlikely that a child in a literate home would *not* learn to read, just as it would be unlikely for a child not to learn to speak or talk.
It's just nice to not 100% agree with someone, but not have them make it into a mission to 100% disagree with them. I appreciate that quality in a person. Reminds me a of a good friend of mine. We have awesome debates, and are able to trust the intent of the conversation enough to remain open minded throughout, sometimes changing eachother's views or impacting them in other ways