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Early reading: to teach or not to teach? (Школьные сочинения)

The article commented upon is entitled "You can make me do it, but you can't make me like it!". It is written by a mother whose child started reading later than others and she raises a question whether it worth making a child read as early as possible. She comes to conclusion that there is no use in forcing children to read early, as sooner or later a child's passion for reading, so long-expected and long-cherished by his parents, will come eventually, when something clicks in the reading part of his brain.

The author suggests, that deciding how your child learns to read is a very personal decision, as for some children, reading skills come more easily and at a younger age, while for others, it is struggle, to put it mildly.

When I was in kindergarten we used to do various daily activities, including playing simplistic music instruments, singing songs and declaiming rhymes, drawing pictures and whatever. You can imagine how I was shocked to learn that nowadays kindergartens and preschools focus on teaching children how to recognize letters and sounds.

Before going to first grade children are supposed to know half of the ABC (if not the whole of it) and are able to read simple, one-syllable words.

But is it beneficial or destructive?

Early reading is indeed a controversial and questionable issue.

Traditionalists maintain the idea that early reading better prepare children to school, while others suggest children's early reading is inadequate and the child’s brain is not ready for reading.

To answer the question I find in necessary to define the pros and cons of early reading, which the author probably had in mind but did not state them directly in the article.

Well, the pros of early reading are numerous. First of all, good readers become good students and they tend to succeed in other areas of study as well.

Besides, early reading broaden vocabulary, improves memory and a reading child can see and "absorb" the structure of sentences, which definitely affects on his capability to learn not only his native, but foreign languages as well. What is more, children who can read are seldom bored, as they have treasures on bookshelves.

Speaking about the cons of early reading I can't help mentioning vision problems, which are constant companions of voracious and omnivorous young readers. The latest research revealed the direct connection between early reading and vision problems.

Another negative impact an early reading can bring in is the risk of potential failure your child can meet with. Not all children experience success at an early age and it can be a cause of "book allergy" in the future.

As you can see the number of benefits of early reading exceed the number of possible cons. So my answer is - "Yes! It's better to teach children to read as early as possible". Some people can contradict and provide a good deal of cons which I haven't mentioned, they would say something like: "Teaching children to read too early would take time from other areas of development" or "These children will not fit in with their classmates" and so on, but these problems has nothing to do with reading. If parents take care of their child's full development, the problems above will never arose.

In conclusion I would like to say that early reading is beneficial after all, as it gives young readers a good start at school and help them in life.

But what I would like to drive your attention at is the importance of encouraging, not forcing children into reading. It can be achieved by having child watch parents read, visiting the library or just reading books together. Just let you children be children, and starvation for reading will come soon in natural way, I promise.


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