She’s going into kindergarten this year,and I wanna know what things I should be teaching her over the summer.She’s already been to pre-k,so she has a basic understanding of abc’s and #’s.She can count to 39, recite her abc’s,spell her own name, and can kinda write.
Written 26 May 2017
Teach her absolutely nothing!
Young children should enjoy their childhood. They will learn everything they need to know by playing.
If these statements appear too drastic, then consider the following research.
Early Academic Training Produces Long-Term Harm
Despite the initial academic gains of direct instruction, by grade four the children from the direct-instruction kindergartens performed significantly worse than those from the play-based kindergartens on every measure that was used.
How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development
What a finding! Benezet showed that five years of tedious (and for some, painful) drill could simply be dropped, and by dropping it the children did better, in sixth grade, than did those who had endured the drill for five previous years.
(1) For non-schooled children there is no critical period or best age for learning to read. Some children learn very early (as early as age 3), others much later (as late as age 11 in this sample). The timing of such learning doesn’t seem to depend on general intelligence, but upon interest. Some children, for whatever reason, become interested in reading very early, others later.
(2) Motivated children can go from apparent non-reading to fluent reading very quickly. For motivated children, who are intellectually ready, learning to read requires none of the painful, slow drill that we regularly put children through in school. Many children pick it up without anything that looks like a lesson; others ask for some help, which may come in the form of a few lessons concerning the sounds of the letters.
(3) Attempts to push reading can backfire. Children (like all of us) resist being pushed into doing things they don’t want to do, and this applies to reading as much as to anything else.
School starting age: the evidence
Several European countries are delaying the introduction of academic instruction until later, as a result of research such as this.
Read the research.
Let your children play!