If you think "my child is too young to learn, do I really need to teach them before they start school? Teachers at school are trained to help them learn to read, besides they are too young!" What are the chances that your child will be a poor reader? Consider the following carefully from some English speaking countries:
> The Minister of school Education Garrett, was cited in the Australian publication having said "Australia performed poorly in a recent international study of Year 4 reading, where 24 per cent were below the minimum profitability benchmark and that 75,000 students across Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 did not meet the national minimum literacy standard in NAPLAN (1) ".
> The National Assessment of Educational Progress (US) tested children nationwide for reading skills. The results for reading tests for fourth-grade students were: Below the most basic level: 38 percent; Proficient: 31 percent; and Advanced: 7 percent (2).
> Mail on-line reiter to an OECD report author admitting research into literacy 'does not look good for the UK' (3).
> Approximately 42% of Canadians between the ages of 16 and 65 years fail to achieve Level 3 proficiency, which denotes the skill level typically required for high school completion (4).
> South Africa – "The consequence of pupils being taught to" parrot "rather than read independently was that after five years of school, 13 percent of Grade 5s (11-year-olds) were illiterate and most were able to score no more than 4 out of 20 on a comprehension exercise, new data from the national education evaluation and development unit disclosed. " (5).
Poor literacy skills leads to reduced opportunities in life. Without good reading, writing and communication skills a person will not succeed at school and as an adult they will be excluded from the job market. They will not be able to reach their full potential or make meaningful impact in the community. Their poor literacy skills will also affect them as parents as they will lack confidence and struggle to support their children's learning. Generations of families to follow will perpetuate this cycle of poverty and social exclusion.
The formative years of a child's life are the very important for healthy brain development and growth. Research shows that critical aspects of a child's brain are established before they enter school, and it is the experiences during this development period which play a critical role in shaping the capacities of the brain. A child's cognitive development includes building skills such as pre-reading, language, vocabulary, and numeracy. It starts the moment a child is conceived and continues after birth. The brain acquires much information about language in the first year of life. By the time babies speak, or understand words, they know which sounds their language uses, how to create words, tone and phrases. Formation for higher cognitive function peaks around 2 to 3 years of age. Researchers have discovered that here is a direct link between a child's academic performance and future success with positive early experiences and developing early reading skills.
Positive aspects of early child reading are:
• It ignites the child's creativity and imagination.
• It makes a child smart meaning, later they will get higher achievement test scores, lower rates of grade repetition and higher educational attainment.
• It helps a child grow in independence and self-confidence.
• A child's attention spans and concentration is improved.
• It leads to a better relationship with parent, communication skills and logical skills.
• It exposes the child's vocabulary and writing skills.
• It helps in a child's healthy social and emotional development.
If a child's reading difficulties are not addressed early, chances are not unless they make concerted effort to reverse this, they will never acquire sufficient reading skills.It is possible to teach your child to read early and avoid challenges later in life by doing research and being proactive with useful information available.
1. The Australian: Education-Minister-Peter-Garrett-can't-read-data / story-e6frg6n6-1226612845475
2. National Education Association http://www.nea.org/grants/facts-about-childrens-literacy.html
3. Mail Online: article-2449481 / Education-crisis-Pupils-worse-maths-literacy-grandparents: By ANDREW LEVY FOR THE DAILY MAIL PUBLISHED: 8 October 2013 | UPDATED: 09:41 GMT, 9 October 2013
4. NCBI: Journal ListPaediatr Child Healthv.11 (9); 2006 NovPMC2528650
5. IOL News SA's shocking literacy stats-October 22 2013: Leanne Jansen