Earlier Is Better for Kids? No! Childhood Is Not a Dress Rehearsal for Adulthood by Rae Pica
Whether we're talking about academics or athletics, the idea that earlier is better has infiltrated American society and education. As a result, children are expected to read as babies and to play like Beckham years before their eye-foot coordination allows them to successfully connect foot to ball.
The myth that earlier is better has resulted in parents being terrified that if they don't give their little ones a jumpstart on the "competition," their children will fall behind and end up as failures. And what happens to the kids? They're too often stressed and unhappy. Depression is at an all-time high – because demanding that children perform skills for which they're not yet ready creates fear and frustration in them.
Regardless of current trends, child development cannot be accelerated. Moreover, there's no reason to try to accelerate it. The research shows that children who begin something, like reading or sports, when they're developmentally ready catch up to and even surpass those who started early.
Childhood is not a dress rehearsal for adulthood. It's a separate, unique and very special phase of life. We need to make sure we don't wipe it out of existence!
Additionally, the research is very clear on this (if only someone would pay attention to it): by 3rd grade, there's absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between those who read early and those who read later! One of my favorite stories is of Dr. Carla Hannaford, neurophysiologist and author, who didn't read until she was 10...and she did pretty well for herself!