I just ran across this 2010 article and thought others may find it of interest. A New Zealand study showed that children who were taught to read starting at age 7 showed no differences in reading skills by age 11 to those who were taught starting at age 5. The study compared children being taught at an older age at Steiner schools with ones being taught at the conventional age of 5 in the state run schools.
We unschoolers have often observed that late readers catch up quickly. Though this study didn't address truly late readers, it makes sense that a child who learned to read at age 8 or 9 would have a similar experience if their late reading is not due to their having a learning disability.
the article should be pretty good. i will have to take a look. i know it to be true, however, because my dd transitioned out of waldorf after her kindergarten year and had to play catch up. but she excelled very quickly at her school and by the end of the year, she was ahead of where they set the bar for entering second grade.
it does take some additional work though. the integration is not seamless by a long shot. i just never gave up.
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Exactly:-) Nothing that hasn't been observed but still it's nice there is actual independent evidence to support it.
And BMJ, catching up would likely have not taken so much effort if your dd was able to stay in a system that supported different levels of reading skills. SInce she caught up completely in one year with effort, likely she would have caught up in two or three years with little to no effort. The study wasn't addressing how easily a child would transition from one type of school to another, just that the children had the same reading level by age 11 regardless of when reading instruction began.
My daughter started to read on her 7th birthday. It was probably a few months (maybe more?) after that before she would really read on her own.
Within 3-4 months of that, she was finishing Harry Potter books. She can easily go through a 200 page chapter book within a day or two.
So, yes, I totally agree. Too much effort is being put on a child reading at five. Let them learn to LOVE to read and find things they love reading!
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