Worried About a Child Who Isn’t Reading Yet?

A wonderfully thorough article on why that may be a *good* thing. Hopefully, it will help you not lose sleep over the issue.

Brain research can explain why teaching reading earlier would result in negative effects: most five year olds do not yet have the complete development of the neurological pathways needed to couple the deciphering tasks and the comprehension tasks of reading.

The language center in the left hemisphere of the brain won’t form for most kids until they are between seven and nine, and later for boys than girls. When kids are taught to read before this, certain problems arise, particularly in spelling and reading comprehension.

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If only schools would hold back on reading instruction to match the development of the language centers of the brain, then our children would experience better success, and not be set up for frustration, or even failure.Not surprisingly, school systems around the world that wait to begin children’s formal schooling at seven produce students who are more than competitive, despite, and arguably because of, the late start. Finland, the crowned jewel of the Scandinavian countries that start school at seven, boasts high school students who outperformed every other country involved in the last PISA assessment, including Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.

While we wait for the U.S. educational system to educate itself about brain development research, what are parents to do to help their children avoid the problems associated with unreasonable expectations? Experts through the years have long held to the advisement that waiting a year hardly even causes a problem, but sending a child to school a year too soon is fraught with both short and long-term problems.

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