To read or not to read
Of course we should read. But when do we start?
Getting to know numbers.
This is Emma.
Emma is almost 4 years old (eeek crazy) and she has been showing an interest in numbers and letters.
So what do you do with this? Is she too young to start?
Is her brain mature enough to understand?
On one hand I don’t want to withhold learning from my child especially if she shows interest but at the same time I don’t want her to feel pressure that she needs to understand something that is beyond her years or for her to get disappointed in herself if she feels like it’s not working or going the way she planned.
What I’ve learnt is that learning to read too early can actually be counterproductive. Studies show it can lead to a variety of problems including increased frustration, misdiagnosed disorders and unnecessary time and money spent teaching kids skills that they don’t even have the skill set to understand yet.
While not ‘reading skills’ per se, encouraging an interest and understanding of letters and sounds is an important step in learning to read, and which children benefit from grasping before starting school. Essentially, by reading and talking to children, parents can take the first steps in developing a love of words.
Skills that can be helpful:
Print recognition- A familiarity with books and ability to hold them correctly.
Phonemic awareness- The ability to recognize and manipulate individual sounds within a word.
Critical thinking skills- The ability to analyze a topic and form a unique informed opinion.
Spoken language fluency- The ability to speak and understand their native language (s) on a verbal level.
Phonological awareness- The ability to recognize words, sounds and syllables.
Alphabet knowledge- The ability to recognize and name print alphabet letters.
So what did I do?
I bought Emma some workbooks where she could trace letters. I sat with her and I went at her speed. We talked about the letters and sounded them out but I let her take the lead.
Emma is really smart and very mature for her age. I want her to be excited to learn and I'll always be there to teach her new things.
Emma getting familiar with her Hebrew alphabet.
As a child I was never a very good student. As I've mentioned before, I moved to Israel when I was 11. For someone who was never a very strong student going to school in a different language made for lots more struggling. When it came time to apply for high schools I naturally applied to all the schools my friends were applying to. Needless to say I did not get accepted to any of them. I was put on waiting lists or just flat out told NO.
I ended up going to the high school that my older sister was at and it was absolutely the wrong place for me I barely lasted a year and then switched schools.
The only school that seemed suitable for me at that point was actually the worst school for me. I lasted a year there as well and by that point I just gave up on school. I informed my parents that I did enough and that I was finishing my high school career after 10th grade. I couldn't do it anymore.
Luckily my parents weren't going to stand for that and searched for a different option. They found a high school that had all the lessons taught in English and I was able to finish up in one year and get my G.E.D.
So I passed and my G.E.D is what I got.
So what's my point of this whole high school saga?
We'll I was being forced into a box. A box that just wasn't the right fit for me made me feel badly with myself. I thought "What is wrong me"?
Really I should have thought, what is wrong with them? Why do I need to be like everyone else.
So I don't read the same way as the girl next to me. So my math skills aren't the same as the girl sitting two seats in front of me.
Now that I'm a mother and my children's education and school years are before me I want to make sure that I'm doing all that I can to prevent those feelings. I never want my children to feel the way that I did and I'm sure so many others did.
Each child understands things in their own way. We're all different and what works for one person or even a bunch may not work for others.
There's nothing wrong with that!