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Wrong thinking about early reading?

 
 
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 09:12 am
I came across this interesting article discussing how early formal education should start (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029435.000-too-much-too-young-should-schooling-start-at-age-7.html?cmpid=RSS|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|online-news#.Uot9gZyrHpd) and one paragraph really stood out to me:

Quote:
In New Zealand, several key investigations compared children who started formal literacy lessons at age 5 with those who started age 7. They showed that early formal learning doesn't improve reading development, and may even be damaging. By the age of 11, there was no difference in reading ability level between the two groups. However, those who started aged 5 developed less positive attitudes to reading and showed poorer text comprehension than those who had started later.


It stood out because it was so true to our experience -- Mo struggled with learning to read but amazed his teachers with his reading comprehension. He still does.

So I followed the link to the source article. Unfortunately I can only find the abstract but it lists some interesting highlights:

Quote:
► Around age 10, children learning to read at seven had caught up to those learning at 5. ► Later starters had no long-term disadvantages in decoding and reading fluency. ► For whatever reason, the later starters had slightly better reading comprehension. ► Reading appears to be built on oral language, decoding, and reading skills. ► This research suggests some focus on teaching reading early could be relaxed.


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885200612000397

Thoughts?

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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 2,655 • Replies: 24
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 10:51 am
I learned to read early because reading was all there was to do at our house on many days. All of my older siblings read and we spent a lot of time at the library so I just kind of picked it up.

When I started school they told my mom I was "doing it wrong" and that I should confine my reading to the classroom where, I suppose, I learned to do it "right".

It's kind of funny that kids are expected to be already reading when they start school now. When Mo started kindergarten I was totally surprised at how formal it all seemed and I've been stunned to read about the competition to get a kid into the "right" preschool. When I was little everyone felt sorry for the kids that had to go to preschool.
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 11:32 am
@boomerang,
Boom this might prove pertinent to your OP

http://able2know.org/topic/227179-1
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 11:46 am
@boomerang,
If a child out of curiosity wants to learn to read or count or jump let them. Just be careful they are not too good when they start school as they then will be bord.
This competition which is modern whatever it is reading, playing the piano or standing on your head is all wrong. We can lead our children to do things, but it has foremost to be their wish.
There has to be time for play and develope fantasy. I think fantasy is so important.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 11:58 am
@boomerang,
Quote:

When I started school they told my mom I was "doing it wrong" and that I should confine my reading to the classroom where, I suppose, I learned to do it "right".


As a father of an very bright early reader, and as a former educator, I am highly skeptical of this.

What does "reading wrong" even mean?

Confining reading to the classroom goes against every one of my beliefs about education. Do we confine counting, or thinking or learning to the classroom? That sounds ridiculous.

Can you explain what this "reading wrong" means? I really don't understand.

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 12:13 pm
@saab,
I agree!

The article I linked was in favor of play based preschools and how the trend towards more formal, academic preschools did a disservice to kids.

Everything is very competitive these days. It's so annoying.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 12:17 pm
@maxdancona,
I don't really know what was wrong with they way I was doing it.

My mom thought it was hilarious -- she still tells that story, about me reading "wrong". I continued to read at home.

I can only suppose they were teaching some system of reading that I hadn't been introduced to. This would have been nearly 50 years ago so I guess we could look into how reading was taught then....
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 12:20 pm
Without any thoughts on contemporary educational thinking, about which i know nothing, i can relate my own experience. I suffered a then rather severe injury when i was about three and half years old. I was housebound for most of the summer, and i began learning to read then. I could read by the time i was four. Obviously, i didn't read well, but my experience in school was that i had read more, and read better and with better comprehension than my peers. I started with The Wind in the Willows, and by the time a year had passed, i could read the book without assistance, and i think i understood it well enough. I was seven when i first read A Christmas Carol, which i did unaided, and which i thoroughly enjoyed, and which i understood. I have, all my life, remained skeptical of educational theory.
saab
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 01:01 pm
@boomerang,
Reading to a child is very important I think. You share a story, you laugh or cry together. The child can ask questions, you can talk about the pictures and there is a closeness.
A child who has to learn to read early will be good in reading, but maybe not in asking questions to learn more, to share feelings with others.
I am not talking about children who wants to learn to read.
I like to listen to books on CDs. It is a different feeling than reading.
People like to come to gatherings where an author is reading.
So we should not forget reading loud for someone.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 01:28 pm
In English, one says "reading out loud," or "reading aloud."
saab
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 03:05 pm
@Setanta,
I am terribly sorry I made a mistake, which I missed when proofreading too fast.

In correct English I is written capitalized.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 03:16 pm
@maxdancona,
Browsing through some "history of teaching reading" sites I've learned that there are often transitions between "phonics" and "whole word" and "whole language" as ways to teach. I suppose I was doing one and the teacher wanted me to do it the other.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 03:20 pm
@Setanta,
Educational theory is a trip! I've been slowly working my way through "The Death and Life of the Great American School System" and it is fascinating (though very dry reading).

It was poverty that drove me to read. There was no money for anything and the library was free.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 03:36 pm
@saab,
I've been thinking of trying audio books. I love to be read to. Sadly, since my husband's grandmother died, nobody wants to read to me anymore.

I still read aloud to Mo a lot. I try to chose themes that will challenge him a bit and lead to a lot of discussion. Usually the discussion takes up much more time than the reading!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 04:55 pm
@boomerang,
That's what I was thinking, that it had something to do with all that - which as usual I didn't pay that much attention to at the time, in memory as new to me and sounded wacky.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 04:56 pm
@boomerang,
And that's a play on Jane Jacob's Death and Life of American Cities, one of my favorite books back in those days.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 04:59 pm
@ossobuco,
Nothin' bad in there for a twelve year old, but people have taken her to task somewhat, off and on, since then (I forget why but remember thinking some of the later thinking reasonable). This was a woman with a major impact re city life.

Just like Southern California, Island on the Land, by Carey McWilliams, a book I devoured and then leant to someone and never saw again.
I think in both cases the books were aged before their time... as in rumpled and torn from intense reading. But I was older then.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 05:09 pm
@ossobuco,
I suppose the problem would be that for a not even teen yet person to be reading books with a slant to them could spark years of mono-thinking. But that can be countered by discussion (in one's head, or with others) and seems better to me than what is passing for reading material for 12 year olds.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 05:12 pm
@boomerang,
I was an educator and was taught the controversy. Then I watched my daughter learn how to read. She just read... I guess a combination of whole language and phonic....

Watching someone learn to read in real life made this whole controversy seem silly.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Nov, 2013 05:56 pm
You probably remember me talking about this at the time, but sozlet was not an early reader and there was some clucking I had to push back against. Her preschool was awesome and didn't push it at all (it was very play-based), but there were a lot of people who were "surprised" she wasn't reading yet, asking me what I was doing to encourage her, etc. When I'd say, "Nothing, I mean I read to her but beyond that nothing, and she'll get around to it when she's ready," I'd get some disapproval.

That ratcheted up in kindergarten; "Oh, she's not reading yet?" (Kindergarten!) I never put any particular pressure on her or gave her any particular instruction, she just started doing it about halfway through kindergarten and the learning curve was very steep. Beginner books (Dr. Seuss and such) to chapter books (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) within a couple of months.
 

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