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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:59 am 
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Amber (and anyone else), I don't live near a uni library and I'm having problems finding what I want on the web, I wondered if you could do me a favour as I'm stuck in the middle of an essay. I need to quote some research about why teaching children to read young ( e.g. age 4/5 in reception in the UK) could be damaging.

Just anything that is at your fingertips please, don't go rummaging.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:52 pm 
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Thanks Belinda. That should be v. useful.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:17 am 
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I'm curious Mystery- what is the title of your essay and what is it for?

Not sure there is any research which demonstrates 'damage' - there are two strands of research, one of which clearly shows that any advantage early readers have has evaporated after 3 years at school; and another, which I mentioned, and referenced, in your earlier thread, which shows that children taught to read early might end up with poorer skills in advanced comprehension and abstract thought.

I am sure you are familiar with the PISA and IAEA studies which consistently demonstrate that countries which teach reading later have higher performing students on all reading scores by age 15, and intervention studies designed to give children a 'leg up' before they start school (in countries where they start school at 6) have failed to demonstrate any lasting benefit.

As I pointed out before, this does not include children who decide for themselves they want to read before they go to school, though in this country that particular sample would be impossible to assess, partly because there are some parents who foist it on their children and then claim it is child led. Before anyone jumps on me with an anecdote about a 6 month old who has voluntarily read the complete works of Shakespeare, I will admit that one of my own taught himself to read at three, despite having me for a mother.

For me a far more interesting question would lie in why some parents think they need to get 4 year old children reading, rather than allowing it to percolate through as it generally will. Perhaps that is the group of parents who would best benefit from knowing that it will confer no long term advantage, and might even lead to a net reduction in overall skills.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:54 am 
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Ah thanks Amber for those pointers. It's for an OU module on literacy difficulties.


I suppose some parents deliberately teach their children to read early for various reasons. I'm guessing at some reasons:

- maybe some have the time to do it before the child goes to school full-time and they themselves are returning to work when child starts school full-time, and they find it a pleasurable thing to do together with their child as they still have lots of time together. Once children start school the edict from some schools for the child to read to the parent for 10 mins each night does not suit the tired child, nor the working parents, so getting "ahead" can mean a less stressful reception / year 1

- others do it to because they have some particular concern that it may not happen in the group situation at school for some reason or other - maybe their child is going to a school with poor reading results and it has scared them, or child is a bit deaf etc etc

- others do it because there is "dyslexia" in the family and they want the child to be "school-proofed" as some believe that some school's ways of teaching might be more likely to result in a "dyslexic" child than others

- others do it because the child shows a great interest in learning to read so giving them a helping hand for 5 or 10 mins a day is fun and pleasurable

- others do it because it's one of those things they would really like to see their child starting to do rather than it all happen away from them at school - bit like wanting to see the child's first steps etc

Just my guesses. Your question is a bit like the one I have when I see parents holding children who can't stand up upright so they can walk. Many many parents do this; to me it's boring and makes your back ache and the child will walk when they are physically ready - but probably a bit later than if you did these leg strengthening exercises with them. I'm not entirely sure the same principle applies to reading though.

What percentage of the population do you think would and could really genuinely teach themselves to read?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:06 am 
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I think you've missed out the main reason and that's parental pressure . Along with walking and potty training , early reading does seem to be one of the main things parents like to boast about. I know of 1 parent who taught her 2 year old to memorise a book then at certain events she would whip out this book, tell him to read and look around smugly at the " amazed looks " . No. it wasn't mystery. :P


I just love it when I'm at the supermarket and there will be a parent talking extremely loudly to their 1 year old asking him what colour the fruit is . Said child usually looks completely bewildered and mother has to then scuttle off , red faced.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:31 am 
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You're probably right. I suppose I just don't think of that because it's not something that influences me.

But maybe it's good that people are influenced that way towards achieving educational aims both for themselves and their offspring? We hope this peer pressure works in the right direction at school don't we - if child A works hard and gets approval child B might too etc - so it's natural it should follow on into our life as parents.

So I'm just a misfit. No tummy time, no holding them up to walk, no potty training ---- it all struck me as a bit dull and pointless. Seeing a child - any child - learn to read is wonderful though. Perhaps if as a society we were less critical of people wanting to teach their child to read, and more supportive in giving them the wherewithall to do so in an appropriate manner, there would be fewer children who are rubbish at reading at age 11.

I don't think it can all be blamed on children starting in reception at 4/5 in England. They make almost no attempt to teach children to read in reception at my children's school and I don't think it has enhanced their results at 11 relative to the schools around that do!! A lot of reception teachers have been scared to teach anything since the EYFS came in (although this is a misinterpretation of it), and I don't think it has resulted in a significant improvement at 11 has it? In many schools it is pretty much the same as having changed the school starting age.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:52 pm 
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Amber, what counts as teaching your child to read? Like yours, my DS started reading when he was aged three. In Tesco, of all places! We thought he'd simply been watching too many adverts :lol: but then discovered he could read lots of unseen texts. I read him storybooks several times a week and he had a toy bus which voiced letter sounds. We also watched Countdown most days! We joke that Richard Whitely taught him to read. Apart from that, I can't think of anything that could be construed as active teaching. My mother said that I taught myself to read too and I really didn't want my DC to learn too young as I was, well, easily distracted for the first three years of school and always in trouble for doing no work. :oops:

DS is now much stronger in maths/science than language while the reverse can be said of DD who learned to read with her peers at Primary School. She had the same books and phonics bus, but my return to work meant she missed out on Countdown. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:22 pm 
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Ha so that proves it was Richard Whiteley.

This sounds really silly, but I think some children learn to read young learn to read because they look at the words!!

An interesting thing would be to see if similar proportions of precocious readers / non-precocious readers move in later life into literary versus scientific fields.

My theory is that precocious readers have very logical minds (as well as a visual system which matured early) for spotting patterns etc, and they are more likely to go the science route later on. Well I'll never be able to test this theory, so I can believe in it.


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