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Learning to Read Early is Bad?

Little Reader Flash Cards

I have heard it said over and over that teaching children to read early is “bad”. I hear all sorts of arguments, like that it causes dyslexia, it stresses the kids out, we’re missing out on our chance to connect with the kids, kids are not ready to read that young, and so on. There was a time when I did wonder about the truth of all this, but no longer…

Our Story About Learning to Read Early

My boys are avid readers. Okay, the elder one more so than the younger one, but they both love books. They love going to the library and they love going to the bookstore. Often, going to the bookstore is a treat akin to going to the toy store. They are just as excited about getting a new book as they are about getting a new toy.

They both started learning to read early – and when I say early, I mean early. G1 was 2 years old and G2 was a baby. They both used flashcards as part of their learning method – which was a combination of the Doman Method and BrillKids Little Reader, and lots of reading aloud in between just because they enjoyed it (yes, they did Right Brain Education, too, but more about that another day). Our reading sessions were always enjoyable – except maybe when I had to read a favourite book for the umpteenth time, but that was usually me getting sick of it and them begging to hear the story yet again. I never insisted they had to do anything if they didn’t want to but we had “reading lessons” on most days. On the days we did not, it was usually because we were too busy with other things rather than because they didn’t want to. A lot of it was done when the boys were either nursing, cuddled next to me, or perched on my lap. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it any differently.

The following is a video of the boys reading. It was one of the very few I ever recorded because teaching them to read was never about getting them to “perform”. I didn’t want them to have to prove to me that they could read because I knew that repeated testing would put them off reading and my goal was to encourage it not discourage it. The only reason I recorded this video was to show that young children can learn to read and it isn’t detrimental to them in any way. If you watch on, you will see many other videos of other young children reading and enjoying it.

You don’t have to teach your child to read early if you don’t want to – it’s your choice. But if fears that you might somehow be harming your child is stopping you from starting early, I hope my story and the stories of many other parents like me will show you that those fears are unfounded. You don’t have to force your child to read. In fact, forcing is discouraged. We do it gently, lovingly, and with fun, because that’s the way our children love it.

We taught our children to read with BrillKids Little Reader:

Read Early with BrillKids Little Reader

Other BrillKids Learning Systems:

Early literacy is one of the best gifts we can offer our children, but don’t just take my word for it…

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Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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