Socially-Wise VS Academic-Savvy

Who cares how much book knowledge one has if they are socially and emotionally inept? But that’s an entirely different issue altogether. The most important thing is for children to learn about things they are interested in, in a way that is interesting to them. That is when real learning experiences can take place, and that is the philosophy we should be adopting in early childhood education.

A reason the Finnish system has succeeded is that “only dead fish follow the stream” — a Finnish expression. Finland is going against the tide of the “global education reform movement” – based on core subjects, competition, standardization, test-based accountability, control.

Focusing too much on academic skills may actually inhibit a child’s development – replacing the power of emotions and hands-on activities as a development force.

Finally, Learning Can Be Enjoyable

The eye movements that are necessary for reading are not usually fully developed until the age of seven. Learning how to read before the age of seven is therefore very difficult for many children and they do not see reading as something that is exciting and wonderful.

If you wait until children are seven until they learn to read, almost all children will learn to read with ease and it will be a skill that they love instead of a skill that they dread. There is no long term advantage at all to learning to read at age five.

Think of it: 85 percent of kids needed extra help, parents spent extra money, and parents and kids felt stressed because some adult thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be swell if we taught these 4-year-olds to write?” without any regard to developmental milestones.

Damages of Starting Early

Parents should not push their children to excel in academic in such a young age. Childhood is priceless and should not be taken from anxious mother.

“But there isn’t any solid evidence that shows that children who are taught to read in kindergarten have any long-term benefit from it,” “If there aren’t advantages to learning to read from the age of five, could there be disadvantages to starting teaching children to read earlier?”

“The first six years of education are not about academic success,” he said. “We don’t measure children at all. It’s about being ready to learn and finding your passion.”

How Finland Became The Best?

Competition Will Impede You

This scenario drives us crazy because it’s grounded in fear, competition, and pressure, not in science or reality. Not only are parents feeling undue pressure, but their kids are, too. The measuring stick is out, comparing one kid to another, before they even start formal schooling.

Academic benchmarks are being pushed earlier and earlier, based on the mistaken assumption that starting earlier means that kids will do better later.

Asians now teach reading to 5-year-olds even though evidence shows it’s more efficient to teach them to read at age 7, and that any advantage gained by kids who learn to read early washes out later in childhood.

What was once advanced work for a given grade level is now considered the norm, and children who struggle to keep up or just aren’t ready yet are considered deficient. Kids feel frustrated and embarrassed, and experience a low sense of control if they’re not ready to learn what they’re being taught.

Taught Only When Ready

Thinking The Opposite

There is nothing wrong with teaching a young child who is truly ready to read, it is very detrimental to push reading on young children whose brains are just not reading. It is likely to foster a hate of reading in those children because it will be so frustrating trying to learn something they are not ready for, and they will forever associate reading and books with frustration. It can also really damage self-esteem.

Why do we give young children tasks, standards, and environments that are not appropriate to their developmental readiness? Why do we ignore the fact that the parts of their brains needed for these tasks are still under construction? Why do we impose timelines that turn a blind eye to developmental processes and a deaf ear to individual differences?

Education is Not A Race

The central, critical message here is a counterintuitive one that all parents would do well to internalize: Earlier isn’t necessarily better; and likewise, more isn’t better if it’s too much.

The best education practice is not to spoon feed children’s mind with facts and information, nor is it a race to see how quickly a child can read, write, and count. It is to spark a child’s curiosity, to encourage good morals and attitude, to learn how to interact with friends, how to solve problems, and respecting oneself and others as they become global citizens.

Academic Talent

Your Child is Unique

For children who don’t have an academic propensity, there are so many other domains of intellect that should be nurtured not ignored to be replaced by thoughtless gibberish.

Having said that, every kid is different, so there are kids that are ready to read at a younger age. Kids don’t fit in a box. There is not one right age to teach or learn reading; it depends on the child. However, 7 is not too late to learn. Many, many, many kids do not learn until a later age, and still flourish in reading comprehension as they advance through school.

They Are Not Androids

Our children are not Robots who can be mass produced. There is no such thing as a controlled environment when working with children in a real & human world. Treating every child as if they are an android on the same programmed schedule is to stifle everything in them the very Intelligence we wish to foster. It is to rob them of their courageous & curious spirits.

Why do we figuratively push kids down the stairs on other skill sets, possibly causing harm and certainly creating unnecessary frustration and anxiety?

Joy-Based Learning For Once!

But forcing the masses of early childhood learners to master a skill that they are for the most part not developmentally prepared for does not foster a love for reading or learning in general. For most children, it is actually very frustrating.

The point is, children of such a young age learn best through play. It helps them to process, make sense of, and integrate the world around them and set the proper foundation for the concepts needed for more academically focused learning experiences. Not to mention, it allows for more development of the social and emotional skills that are so much more important at that age, and arguably at any age.